Bookcon Book Haul 2017

I realize that I’ve been terribly late at posting things that happened a couple of weeks ago. Like, oh, the fact that I’d gone to Bookcon and never actually posted anything about it on this blog. A bookish nerdy blog, for that matter. It’s well shameful!

Anyway, this year was my first year ever attending Bookcon. I had actually planned to go last year, but that was when they’d moved the location out of New York City, so I was at a loss there. That said, I figured I’d remedy this by getting at least ONE ticket for one of the days.

Having gone to a few cons already (DragonCon and NY Comic Con), I had expected lines. Lots and lots of lines. And I expected to be standing and walking the entire time. What I didn’t expect was how much I’d actually be taking home. Thank goodness I did have a backpack with me to roll books away!

I did learn a few things at Bookcon, and that was to pace myself and get there EARLY. I had underestimated the craze that Bookcon would have, and because BEA was rather limited as far as attendance went, a lot more people came to Bookcon in hopes of getting the latest galleys and speaking to the authors about their newest work. There were books I saw being marketed that I was terribly excited for. There were authors I wanted to meet and greet, and some of them came to NYC so very rarely that I just had to sign up for tickets to their line!

Which is where my scheduling fell apart slightly. I was so intent on getting to author signings and events that I’d signed up for author signings and sweepstakes around the same time. When I got an email a few weeks later that I’d won one of the sweepstakes (which was the I Read YA breakfast, which included some galleys), I was stoked for a few minutes. I say a few minutes because then I checked the author signings I managed to get and realized that one of them was in direct conflict of an author signing I had to go to. And because I almost never see Laini Taylor do signings in the East Coast, I had to abandon the IReadYA event in lieu of getting to my author signing on time. Sigh.

And let me tell you about those author signing tickets. Like, holy wow, they sold like hotcakes the day the ticket registration thing opened up. I had contemplated on whether or not to go to a Leigh Bardugo signing, but decided against it, since I was pretty sure she’d be high profile enough to warrant selling out in tickets (and when I say “selling out,” I’m not talking about monetary profits…the tickets themselves were free, people just had to sign up). And we were only limited to TWO, so that already narrowed down my author bucket list. So I decided on Laini Taylor and Marissa Meyer. I don’t know how I managed to grab a Marissa Meyer ticket, though, because I swear she sold out just as quickly, but I did!

(I was a little bummed that I was limited to two, because I wanted to see Ahdieh again, if only because Flame in the Mist looks GORGEOUS and I wanted it that day…but my friend was AWESOME and went to Ahdieh’s signing and and…I got beautiful illustrated cards of Mariko, who I’m totally already relating to because our names are similar XD).

But yes, the author signing lines were LONG, though much like DragonCon, waiting wasn’t too bad because there were people on the line who liked the same things I did. I mean, duh, here’s a bunch of us standing in line for a SFF author, so of course we’d all have something in common. I practically assumed the women next to me had read half the SFF books I’d read at that point, so we got to squeeing over ships and characters really quickly.

The only thing about attending author signings, however, is that it really cut down on the panel and exploring times. I had between a half hour to an hour each time just to roam the floor, and barely enough time to even stand and wait for giveaways. I never made it to a panel, and even though I’d hoped I’d be able to make it to Margaret Atwood’s panel, there was no chance I was walking into the panel room, considering people had camped out over an hour beforehand.

So maybe next year–and there will be a next year–I’ll cut down on signings and focus more on getting more galleys to read. Not that I’m complaining about what I got. I barely made it home with an intact back, so I don’t know how much more I could have managed if I kept getting books!

Some fun things:

Underlined’s swag bag and bookcrate. Seriously, signing up for a First in Line account ages back was so worth it. I got a ton of goodies from them, including a small battery pack, a tote bag, a pouch, a towel…two books, and a pouch that I could probably put my bookmarks in.

Posters! I loved some of the posters. My favorite was a dual-sided animal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It was black and white on one side and colored in the other, and it is a HUGE promo poster. I loved it. Now I just need to figure out where to put all my posters, considering my room is already filled with them…

Swag! Some booths gave swag every hour or so, which was neat. I also decided on getting a couple of purchases on top of things.

Some things to watch out for:

VIP overhaul. I think the downside to not being a VIP is the fact that much of the author signing tickets had already been taken due to the VIP package.

Extremely long waits. This was more of a concern when you were lining up for well-known authors or authors with a highly anticipated book coming out. Marie Lu’s in-booth line was swamped, and everyone was trying to get to her for a copy of Warcross. I’d heard Leigh Bardugo’s line during BEA pretty much ran forever-and-a-day, and not everyone got the Wonder Woman book she was slated to release. Hell, even Laini Taylor’s and Marissa Meyer’s lines were swamped.

But yes, I did have fun overall, and I will have to come back again next year! Maybe I might even be able to pull off getting a ticket for BEA as an ELA teacher…hmm….

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Of Circus Owl Crates and Library Book Hauls

At this rate, I should really just do a monthly unboxing post of my Owl Crate, because I always get excited when the box comes to my door! But that would mean a monthly commitment to my Owl Crate subscription, and I’m not the type of person who’d be willing to get a box of books I would very well not read for a long, long time. Which is probably the case of the January 2017 Owl Crate, and much like the case of the March 2017 Owl Crate.

That said, this has been the third time I’ve decided to spend money on curated book-stuffs, and for some reason, the swag just keeps getting better and better every time! This February Owl Crate has got to be my favorite so far.

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The curators seriously went above and beyond on the Circus theme, and it looked like they totally enjoyed themselves doing so! There was a lot of swag that I adored, and there were definitely a few that I absolutely coveted ever since I’d heard about them.

I mean, I totally figured Caraval by Stephanie Garber would be the book of choice for the theme box, and I’ve been wanting a copy of this book since it was offered up as an ARC on NetGalley. I’ve also been hearing quite a number of good reviews on the book, so I cannot wait to read it at some point (not soon, because priorities, lmao).

Then I got an email that Evie from Society6 would be designing a tote bag for the theme, and I quite figuratively lost my shit. I’ve been oggling her stuff since I saw her beautiful designs of Laini Taylor’s A Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I’ve been wanting to purchase something from her since. I eventually will, when my budget allows me, but for now, the tote bag is everything.

Like Evie’s tote bag, a few of the swag was inspired by The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Other than CaravalThe Night Circus was pretty much the type of circus-themed book I would have read given the chance. Now, I will say this about The Night Circus, I wasn’t exactly a big fan. HOWEVER, the aesthetic designs for the book (and the descriptions in the text) were beautiful. I’ve made cookies as an homage to the story, and played the Storynexus game when it had come out as a promotion for the book a long ways back. So I was pretty tickled that not only was the tote bag a beautiful rendering of one of the book’s quotes, I also got a lovely-smelling caramel corn candle to go with it! Now I DO feel like I’m in Le Cirques de Reves!

Some other stuff include circus-themed page flags (which are so useful for when I want to keep track of pages I want to quote for review), a notepad with a cover made out of repurposed playing cards (which is awesome), a cinnamon donut lip balm, downloadable audiobook excerpts of both Caraval and The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, and of course, the book plate with the author’s signature (both of which I have now tucked into the book jacket itself so I don’t lost them. Really lovely stuff!

So I’ve also got a few books off my library, mostly because I was lacking in reading challenge books, so I grabbed a couple steampunk stories: The Velocipede Races by Emily June Street and Legenderry by Bill Willingham (because he created a steampunk series WHAT). I’ve also got Truthwitch by Susan Dennard since I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to get Windwitch on the day Dennard comes in for a signing at my local bookstore.

Phew. That’s about it, yep!