BEA 2016 Recap: Day One

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

BookExpo America 2016 Day One: May 11

I have literally been pushing this (as well as the next three) post aside, mostly because I didn't have the time (and feeling) to go through all of the photos I took in Chicago and rave over BEA. Before I get started, I have to say that BEA this year was amazing—so much better than last year in New York City. Chicago is my new favourite place to visit, and this year attracted different audiences, people from the west whose blogs I have heard about in the past, and I was able to meet them in person. Chicago introduced visitors from all over the place, and it wasn't as crowded as the Javits was last year. I had so much fun!

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Let's begin! I arrived in Chicago, the city of the winds (which I kind of understood later—I'll let you know!) on the Tuesday, so on the 10th, the day before BEA began. I used the same kind of schedule with the amount of days my family and I would spend in the city as last year, including a day of total tourism. (YAY!) The drive from Toronto took about eight hours, which was really boring (sorry, Ontario and Michigan!) but once we reached Illinois, ALL OF THE EXCITEMENT WAS IN ME. The year passed by so fast from the last time I was in a huge convention centre filled with book lovers, and it was my dream come true to see Chicago!

Reaching Chicago at its Skyway bridge!
The weather was seriously gloomy for a huge portion of our trip, though. I'll get to Saturday, which was when I visited the University of Chicago (I want to go there. Period), and which turned out to be the coldest day ever, but I must say, Chicago gets a lot of fog. Afterwards, we checked into our hotel and did a little shopping, which was highly recommended by a friend of mine who frequently visits Chicago.

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Day one! I woke up pretty early, I think around 7:00, which kind of is the same time that I wake up to go to school each morning. I still wanted to get to McCormick Place (the convention centre!) early even though the convention actually began at 1:00 that day. 2.5 days of amazingness! I had a fulling breakfast and THEN I WAS SET WITH MY PAPERS, MAP, AND SPREADSHEET! Here is a peek at my spreadsheet for that day (those highlighted in yellow are books I actually got there!):



Chicago does have traffic, guys. I mean, it's just like any other city, and I must say that it does move, better than Toronto or NEW YORK CITY for sure. I didn't mind, because Tuesday was only a half day of activities. I just couldn't stop staring at the Chicago skyline. It's beautiful!


Here is a paragraph dedicated to Chicago's architecture. For quite some time, I had this minor dream of becoming an architect. Designing buildings sounds so cool, but that kind of faded away because I have no artistic ability whatsoever. Chicago has such gorgeous buildings that I just cannot function. The city is so clean, so pretty, and has nicer architecture than NYC, which is definitely hard to beat. Agh.

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I got to the convention centre (with my mom, who was my partner in crime once again this year), and we went to grab our badges. The staff at BEA are so helpful and I didn't have any issues finding something or getting my badge or anything.
My badge and I! You can see I'm already holding a map. Woo.
We all kind of sat around the entrance for two or so hours. When 1:00 came around, my mom and I had a plan and thankfully, thanks to publishers and their Twitter accounts, I was able to discover galley drops and cool things that would be happening for the next three days. I had my eyes set on Replica by Lauren Oliver, because I originally heard that she would be signing the book right when the time came. The "doors" or "gates" opened, people went chaotic (as usual) towards the inside, and when I got to the "line" at the HarperCollins booth, IT WAS HUGE. And then we were told that a galley drop would occur later in the day, so I was a little relieved. 

With my mom, I was able to get most of the books I wanted! BEA was full of galley drops and signings this year, I would say an equal amount, which was great. I got to know all of the booths the first day so I would be ready the next days, and the publishers were great with handing out schedules for their signings and whatnot. 

I met many new people and authors on day one, surprisingly! NICHOLAS SPARKS, GUYS. His line actually wasn't too bad and I got the chance to fangirl (over his attractiveness) over how I love the movies of his books! Who else? Jennifer Close, author of The Hopefuls, Kate Beasley, author of Gertie's Leap to Greatness, and Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Here I Am (which is HUGE) for a few.

Amazing things that shocked me the first day (in a good way)? The amount of people, which was less than last year, the gorgeousness of McCormick Place (including its signs and banners), how the Starbucks was so close to the exhibit hall, and the fact that the luggage check-in WAS RIGHT BESIDE. The people who worked there were so sweet and nice to this crazy fangirl over here.

STARBUCKS. Thank you for your ingredients to make me happy and to give
me a Mango Black Tea Lemonade everyday to keep me boosted.
DISNEY! PEOPLE! YES!
Even though this was day one, and it was only for four and a half hours, I was dead afterwards. My back was killing me! BEA COMES WITH TONS OF PHYSICAL PAIN, EVEN THOUGH YOU COULD CHECK YOUR LUGGAGE IN FOR $4. I went nuts. And a tip? Don't bring many bags with you from home, 'cause they give so many out. I have a collection of tote bags in my room, like a hoarder. I don't want to give them away!

Ready for the haul?


BEHOLD. I love each and every one of these pretties.

This is my day one haul, which is only YA and Adult in this photo. How many books? 71. We were crazy! Here is my middle grade haul (for my sister and myself):

23!
Don't make me pick the ones I want to read the most, PLEASE.

We headed to an amazing Polish-American restaurant for dinner, called Staropolska, and here is a photo of it inside (very Viking-like):


The food is so good there! (We spent a lot of dinners there afterwards because we all loved it). 

BEA, thank you for an amazing day one. I had a blast, and I didn't even think about the fact that it wouldn't last too long!

I apologize for the late post. Anywho, stay tuned for a day two, day three and overall post coming this week!

How was your BEA, if you went? How was day one? What did you like about it?

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