May 8, 2015

BEA Prepared Part 3: What Else Is There To Do?

So, you’ve got your hands on a ticket to BEA/BookCon. You have made transportation arrangements and know where you’re staying once you get to the Big Apple. NOW WHAT?

This is my third year attending BEA, and will likely be my last. So, through a series of blog posts, I hope to impart upon you, my little grasshoppers, some insight I’ve gained over the past two years as you make your plans over the next month. I’m calling this series BEA Prepared. The schedule of posts you can expect include:

So, I know. You're in New York for BEA, and that's your singular focus right now. I totally get it. But, at the same time, it's NEW YORK CITY! And, better yet, hundreds of book lovers will be in the same place at the same time There will be lots to do after the Javits closes its doors for the day.

1. Be a Tourist

If you've never been to New York City before - and, heck, even if you have - you have to try and make time to see the sights you've only read about. Grab dinner at the Shake Shack and take it to Central Park. Take a walk in the garment district and window shop. See a show on Broadway. Take in the craziness that is Times Square after dark. Take a trip to Ground Zero, The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center. You won't be able to do everything in New York after the Javits closes at 5:30, but those things you can. 

2. Do All The Bookish Things
Since books are the main reason you're in town, stay in line with the theme. Visit The Strand bookstore or Books of Wonder. Go by the iconic New York Public Library and say hi to Patience and Fortitude. Bring your favorite book from the day to Bryant Park, which is directly behind the library, and find a cozy place to read a few chapters. Have a favorite book set in NYC? Take note of some of the places mentioned in it, and then go find them. Take a picture and make an epic blog post.

There will also be lots of other events happening in NYC at the same time as BEA. The Teen Author Carnival will be Tuesday, May 26 from 5:30 until 9 p.m. The Sexy in the City author event is in town on Saturday, May 30. Jenny Han is having a release party for her newest book, P.S. I Still Love You on Tuesday, May 26 from 7 until 9 p.m. I'm sure if you go to Google, you can find even more bookish events happening that same week.  

3. Meet With Your Peeps
The Blogger Picnic in 2014

Many of us are on street teams. I'm on several, but really only heavily involved in two. Every year around BEA time, I hit up both groups to see who will be at BEA too, and then find a time to meet up. Even better if the author your team represents will be there too! Are you heavily involved in a Goodreads Group? Start a "Going to BEA?" thread, and schedule dinner with whoever will be in town. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with some of the best bookish friends you've ever had, but probably have never met in real life.


All these things are great, and I definitely think you should try and do them. But, don't feel badly if you don't. BEA takes a lot out of you. By the end of the day, your feet will hurt (no matter what shoes you wear), your neck and shoulders will hurt from slugging around totes full of books, you will be hungry since you probably didn't have a decent meal all day, and you will maybe probably definitely be sick of people and noise. It's okay to pick up a pizza on your way back to the hotel (it IS New York after all - you MUST have pizza), get into your PJs and spend your evening petting your books and recapping your day to your roomies.

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