Thursday, May 19, 2016

Event Recap: BOOKCON 2016

Hey everybody! If you didn't see my excessive tweeting on Saturday, I did indeed go to BookCon 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. In today's post I'm recapping my day, and sharing all the awesome experiences I got to have!

• T h e  D a y •

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to drive down to Chicago. It was very scary, and most of the drivers were, well, for use of a better work, incompetent. However, we did make it to McCormick Place safely.

We got inside and got our badges, then jumped in the security line which was enormous. Along the way, I was rapidly snapping pictures.

Here's my lanyard with my badge, along with all the pins I collected during the day!
Standing in the long, long, loooooong security line.
Yes, we are currently waiting in line for an eternity. 
Still waiting in line, but doesn't Replica look awesome?! Wish I'd gotten a copy...
Random Lady Midnight sighting! (Also, we made it to the next floor of the line.)
After security, we walked into the que for the showroom. I made the decision not to fight for wristbands for the autographing sessions. (But mostly because all the autographs I wanted were going to be in booth and did not require a wristband.) Then, at 10:30, the doors to the floor opened and we streamed in.
Streaming into the show floor. 
I knew I absolutely needed to get to the Disney booth for the Alexandra bracken signing half an hour later, so we immediately went there and lined up. We probably waited for an hour before it was my turn, but meeting Alex was so, so awesome. She's my favorite YA author, and it was just so surreal getting to actually talk to her. She was super nice. I ended up buying another copy of the Darkest Minds while I was there to get signed, and everyone who made it into the signing got a sampler of Wayfarer signed as well. I also made away with some pins with the cover image from Passenger, Wayfarer, and The Darkest Minds, along with two nice quality bookmarks that match Passenger and Wayfarer.

Meeting Alex!!!
Signed Wayfarer Sample!
Signed copy of The Darkest Minds!!! (My favorite book of hers.)
After meeting Alex, we walked around the floor a little bit, and wandered into the Harry Potter section. 
Awesome wall where you wrote what HP means to you- wish these people weren't in my shot but whatever. 
I also picked up some great promotional stuff!

Sample of the Illustrated Edition of the Chamber of Secrets, promotional card for COS, Hedwig coloring page, and promotional bookmark for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

After that, we ate lunch and I attempted to do a panorama of the convention center. (Didn't really work.)
Like I said, didn't really work. This is, like, one half of what I could see from the stairs. 
After lunch I left for the Friendship is Magic Panel hosted by Alex Bracken, Susan Dennard, and Sarah J. Maas. (With surprise guest Victoria Aveyard.)

Here's a three minute clip of the panel, which talked all about female friendships in YA. It was really funny and great to listen to. 

After the panel we walked around the floor some more, and then headed over to the Epic Reads lounge. (Where I met Margot!!!) The rest of my family lounged there while I headed back out to the floor. 

Waiting in line at the Owl Crate booth and look who's unboxing they were playing!
(It's Caz @LittleBookOwl if you didn't know.) 
Then, at 2:30, I snagged my brother and we rushed over to the Penguin booth. I knew the author signing with Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff where they were passing out ARCs of Gemina was at 3:30, so we got there an hour early. Unfortunately, we didn't figure out where the line was until 2:45, and there already was an enormous amount of people waiting. So we jumped in line and it turned out to be fine. We were behind this great lady waiting in line for her son, and in front of this 20-something year old girl who I later found out was a librarian for the YA section. We all got into a great conversation, and it made the time fly by. Which is saying something considering we stood in line for two hours. But yes, shoutout to our line buddies. After a bit of waiting, someone started going down the line with tickets for Gemina. Every ticket equaled one book, so if they ran out of tickets before they got to you, you weren't getting a book. I swear my heart rate increased 100 BPM.... but it all worked out.

My Gemina ticket! 
We waited in line for two hours, but the time passed quickly. At some point the two walked by, Jay holding up his phone as he walked down the line, filming how many people had come to their signing. Jay came by again, and talked with our little group. The lady in front of us, laughing, said, "Can you believe this is all your you?" In which he responded something among the lines of, "it's crazy! I can't believe so many of you are even reading our book." Cassandra Clare also walked by me as we were waiting in line and said hello. 

Made it to the front of the line! 
Then I was given my copy of Gemina, and I walked up to the table where I got to meet Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff!

My signed ARC of Gemina!!!!!! 
After the Gemina singing we headed up to the panels for the Booksplosion panel with Christine, Kat, and Jesse. The panel was great, and I got to meet them, along with Sasha and Natasha. 

I'm super flushed and I don't want this to be the picture you all remember me by. 
Sasha, Tasha, Zoe, and someone else? Anyway, casually editing my face out there. 
And that concludes my day at BookCon! I was there for a total of 10 hours, and each one of them was absolutely amazing.

• H a u l •

All right! Now for the fun part! I got home late that night with three full tote bags full of stuff I lugged back with me. 

- B o o k s -

As you can see, I came back with 6 books in total. I know plenty of people average 40+ books, but I really wanted to see some panels and those are an hour each. Priorities, priorities! 

(All titles link to corresponding Goodreads page.)

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia is an ARC I picked up at the Disney Hyperion Booth.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson was something I got from the Epic Reads lounge.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was the result of me deciding last minute that I wanted to get a copy of my favorite book by her signed.

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is an ARC I received courtesy of the Penguin booth. Two hours people. Two. Hours.

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen is another ARC I got from the Penguin booth.

- T o t e  B a g s- 

Okay so I got a ton of tote bags, so I decided to devote a section of this haul to the bags. 

From Epic Reads is this awesome black bag with titles of some of their books, as well as a *book shimmy* on the back. 

From Owl Crate I came this black bag with an OWL. 

Random House handed out black bags as well, with "I read BLANK before you did." 

Riveted gave out really sturdy, nice canvas bags with their logo. 

And Penguin had an assortment of totes with book quotes- I picked the TFIOS one! 

Harlequin passed out these lovely bags!

And Quirk Books gave away Miss Peregrine's themed bags. 

- O t h e r   R a n d o m  S t u f f   I   G o t -

I ended up with quite a few awesome bookmarks, including Passenger/Wayfarer bookmarks I got at the Alex Bracken signing, Illuminae/Nevernight bookmarks from the Gemina signing, and a Zenith bookmark, which is signed by Sasha and Lindsay! 

Towards the beginning of the day, I picked up these city guides to London and New York. 



Epic Reads passed out these magazine-ish things that are basically a condensed version of their site.

The Penguin Teen booth passed out most of this- just little quote cards, and that KOA thing. (I have no clue what it is.) The magnet came from something else, but I love it. 

At the Owlcrate booth you spun a wheel and received the corresponding prize. I won this adorable bookish to-do list! I'm a sucker for stationery, so this was perfect. I also got some cute sticker things, along with the tote bag you saw above and some pins you can see in my lanyard picture wayyyy at the top. 

_ _ _ _ 

Going to this convention was a really, truly awesome experience. It was so great to be in a place that brings so many like-minded people together. It's amazing to be surrounded by people who all love and crave books just as much as you, and it makes it so easy to start a conversation with literally anyone. If you ever get the chance to go to a bookish convention- take it! Not only do you get to meet so many new people, but you'll see tons of authors, celebrities, and awesome cosplayers. I'm so happy I got the chance to meet all the people I did, and I'm very thankful for this experience! 

I believe that concludes my BookCon recap! Thanks so much for reading this enormously long post, and let me know if you went to BookCon or hope to go in the future. BookCon 2017 will be in NYC for those who don't know! 

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