Sunday Salon on Monday: BEA Might NOT Be All About Books…

(Yes, I know, it’s another “Sunday Salon on Monday,” but this is a long holiday weekend in the USA. It’s also the unofficial kick-off of summer. Why are you sitting there reading blog posts?)

The Sunday Salon

At this time next week, many of us will be in New York City carrying out our various agendas for Book Expo America week. For some of us, the biggest attraction is the abundance of galleys and backlist books that publishers can’t wait to share. There will be books on the expo floor, books at conference sessions, books at publisher events on- and off-site–it’s easy to get carried away by the sheer volume of riches, and ship home box upon box of books. 
(On that note, please don’t forget this: BEA is a trade show. Those books aren’t there just for your review consideration; the main reason they’re being promoted is to attract the attention of potential wholesale buyers like bookstores and libraries. Please be considerate of this, and don’t be greedy!)

I know I went a little crazy last year at my first BEA–and as I prepare for my second, I’m sobered when I see the books I sent home so enthusiastically in May 2011 that I haven’t yet cracked open in May 2012. Some of those hot new 2011 releases are now coming out in their paperback editions.

That realization is one thing that’s tempered my galley-collecting eagerness for this year’s trip. Knowledge of the book swag that’s likely to be doled out at many of the events surrounding BEA is another factor that will make me less inclined to scoop up galleys on the expo floor.

But honestly? I’ve skimmed the Kirkus Big BEA Book Guide and the Books @ BEA online catalog, and…there aren’t all that many books I want. Too many of the descriptions sound too familiar, and I’m starting to feel like I’ve read a lot of these before, in one form or another; and if I don’t get that feeling, it may be because I didn’t really want to read them in the first place. As a result, my shortlist really IS short. And on the flip side, I haven’t been able to confirm that there will be advance copies available of the one book I know I do want–Michael Chabon’s upcoming Telegraph Avenue, the reason I bought a ticket for the Thursday morning Book & Author Breakfast.

Having said that, chances are I’ll come back with more books than I’m planning to. I’m open to being surprised (hopefully pleasantly).

BEA Bloggers Conference, June 4

Speaking of surprises, one of the plans I thought I had last week has already changed…back to what it was in the first place. I’ll be at the BEA Bloggers Conference all day next Monday instead of splitting the day between it and the Book Blog UNCON. Thanks to the partnership between Armchair BEA and BEA that was announced just a few days ago, I’ll have things to do as part of the Armchair BEA on-site team–which means I’d better be on-site, I suppose!

Whether on-site or off, though, my main agenda for BEA this year really isn’t book-collecting; it’s seeing the friends that I only get to see at this time of year, and getting to meet new friends in person for the first time. I’m arriving in NYC on Saturday afternoon and leaving late in the day on Thursday. There are plans already afoot, but there’s room for more. If you are a schedule-obsessed planner like I am and prefer having things lined up ahead of time, e-mail me this week at 3.rsblog AT Gmail DOT com and let’s discuss a time and place to see each other!

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