The BookExpo America event was held this year in Chicago at McCormick Place on May 11-13 and hasn’t been here in 12 years (I live in the suburbs). The reasons for moving it to Chicago this year are many but most importantly it was more accessible to many bloggers and book professionals, which means I was able to connect with so many people I’ve met online over the past three years.
Sure, it’s a book enthusiast’s playground, where the excitement of picking up galleys, meeting authors and connecting with publishers the main reason for attending. But for me this year it was all about connecting with book bloggers/reviewers I’ve come to know. I didn’t have the best experience the first time I attended BEA in New York two years ago. I traveled solo, stayed by myself, navigated mostly alone and was completely overwhelmed. Meeting up with Julie and Katie beforehand and making time to visit with over 20 other bloggers made for an experience I’m still buzzing about. I came home with more than enough galleys, visited just as many publishers, attended author stages, stood in lines, got autographs and went to Book Group Speed Dating- all the things I did in NY. But this time it was so much more fun navigating the whole craziness either in blogger herds or on my own while still meeting up for breaks.
I can honestly say that each and every person I met and/or reconnected with are genuinely great people. These women are truly kind, intelligent and fun to be around. I’m not one to take many photos and now scrolling through my phone, I wish I had taken more. Here are a few:
I don’t keep a blog roll on my site but today I want highlight all the wonderful people and share with (non-blogging) readers to go and visit the ones below for book reviews and bookish content.
Pictured: Julie from JulzReads, Katie from Words For Worms, Stacey from Unruly Reader, Catherine from The Gilmore Guide to Books, April from The Steadfast Reader, Julianne from Outlandish Lit and Shannon from River City Reading.
Those who I also met for the first time or reconnected with: Florinda from The 3 R’s Blog, Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness, Kerry from Entomology of a Bookworm, Jenna from JMill Wanders, Sheila from Book Journey, Beth from Bookworm Meets Bookworm, Shaina from Shaina Reads, Kristen from Terminal Bibliophilia, Emily from Books, The Universe and Everything, Janani from The Shrinkette, Alice from Reading Rambo, Cassandra from her personally named blog, and Rachel who you can find on Twitter and other sites where she contributes. I even met Jill who doesn’t blog but writes excellent book reviews on Goodreads and was just as wonderful in person.
Here are some other lovelies who couldn’t make it and were missed so much: Rory from Fourth Street Review, Leah from Books Speak Volumes, Andi from Estella’s Revenge, Jennifer from The Relentless Reader, Sarah from Sarah’s Book Shelves, Lauren from Malcolm Avenue Review, and Katie from Bookish Tendencies.
WHO DID I MISS? This is why I don’t do a regular blog roll. 🙂
I just hope that BEA doesn’t wait another 12 years to return to Chicago.
Up Next: BEA Part 2: The Authors and The Books