For those of you who haven’t heard of BookCon, it is the largest book convention in North America. It took place in New York City in Javits Center on June 1st and 2nd with several thousand attendants. I was fortunate enough to be one of them!
As I attended YALLWEST (another book festival) last month, I thought I had a pretty good feel for the lines, timing, and what I could feasibly achieve per hour. When I made my game plan, I made a list of my top five or so things I wanted to do each day. Like life, not everything went as expected– but most did!
I’m excited to share the highlights of my BookCon experience with you all!
- Izzy Lightwood cosplay. I decided maybe three weeks before BookCon that I wanted to cosplay, even though I’d never done it before. I admire Izzy’s strength and confidence and wanted to wear it in a safe space among other bookish people.
- Leigh Bardugo signing x2. I managed to score a ticket to Leigh’s signing and in-booth signing, and barely held myself from fangirling because I adore her work both times! The Six of Crows print is a great memorabilia.
- Kerri Maniscalco and Natasha Ngan signing. This signing was my favorite surprise of the weekend because when I got in line, I was told that I was not going to get the sampler (and most likely neither an ARC) because they only had 100. Despite this, I stood in line for over an hour and emerged with a sampler and an ARC. Kerri and Natasha were both incredibly sweet and it was a pleasure meeting them. ❤
- Cassandra Clare signing. I don’t know how I got so lucky that I was able to score a spot at both Topataco in-booth signings I wanted, but I did. Cassie writes complex characters and she was one of my main inspirations during high school. I can’t believe I actually met her.
- Renee Ahdieh photo-op and signing. I was fortunate enough to meet Renee twice on Saturday. I read her debut years ago and fell in love with her imagery and relationships. I can’t wait to see the punch that The Beautiful delivers!
- Snacks and Superheroes with Marissa Meyer. Despite reading and loving the Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, I did not own a copy till this weekend. She is a major influence for one of my WIPs and it was surreal I got to tell her what an inspiration her books are to me.
- Marie Lu signing. I was looking forward to meeting Marie Lu more than anyone because of her new release (Rebel.) When I first read Champion, I was devastated at the ending because I needed to know what happened with Day and June. Unfortunately, I ended up missing the signing because I was in line for the American Royals ARC. But there was a group of people in line who were incredibly kind and got my three books signed and personalized. Now I’m making it my mission to meet Marie Lu on the Rebel tour. *fingers crossed*
- ARCs. (The top row are all samplers. The bottom row are ARCs.) Once I catch up with some of the eARCs from Netgalley, I’ll be reading and reviewing the following!
- V.E. Schwab. I didn’t get a ticket for her in-booth signing because the lines were a nightware. While passing by on my way to a signing, I saw her signing posters for Tunnel of Bones and I got to say hi again! I’m just sad I can’t seem to produce a coherent thought against legends like her. I probably said I loved her work instead of congratulating her on her progress on Addie LaRue like I’ve wanted to do.
- Kindness of strangers. I cannot emphasize enough how much this made my experience. People who held my spot in line while I ran to grab food or tickets. Someone who gave me her copy of the Rebel sampler (since I wasn’t able to get it.) The sweetest friend group who got my Marie Lu books signed. Truly, these moments mean the most to me.
Since this was a highlight reel, I didn’t mention the chaos but trust me when I say I wasn’t prepared. I hit all my big things for Saturday but not some of the smaller ARC drops or signings that I was hoping for. There was a lot of walking and waiting. After Day 1, I was a little ehh. It probably didn’t help that I’d been up since 4am or took the subway across the Manhattan Bridge by accident.
Day 2 went by sooo much better. I got all my books signed. I got a few more ARCs and samplers. I got to know more people in the community. (To the people who got my Marie Lu books signed, you are all MVPs!) I was more flexible. I even slept an extra hour. There was a lot I learned this time around, which I’m sure will help if/when I come back.
If you were at BookCon, what’s one of your highlights from the weekend? If you weren’t, how was your weekend and what did you read? Let me know down in the comments.