Kristen’s BEA Reflections

Posted 11 June, 2012 by Danny in Kristen / 29 Comments

The past week was a whirlwind. Was so fun to reconnect with old friends and make new friends! I feel like I haven’t had a chance to even get my information together to add people on twitter and facebook, or my blog feed yet. Hopefully by the time this has posted I will!

Since it was my first time at BEA I really didn’t know what to expect. I remember seeing Danny, Pushy and Heather tweeting and posting pics last year and I knew I had made a mistake on NOT going. So now that I scrimped and saved and finagled my husband’s schedule so I could go, I kinda forgot to actually plan on what and who I was going to do or see!

Thankfully Pushy took mercy on me and helped me out with the BEA site. Plus they had there BEA U2 sessions that also really helped this newbie out. Since I’m one of the least bloggy reviewers, I did decide to skip the Blogger Conference (I will try to change that now that I have figured out a way to blog more in hopefully a little less time) and instead had Monday to see the city a bit as well as take part in a few of the seminars they were offering through BEA.

So – here’s is my quick and dirty and more importantly if you’re a blogger WHY you should go to BEA at least once!

Monday– I went to the Museum of Modern Art to get my culture in.  Lots of fun and experienced a psychic cabbie on the way over. *insert Twilight Zone theme*  I had planned two sessions that afternoon, one on SEO work (Search Engine Optimization) and the other about Pinterest.  There I had a lightbulb moment (hey, you need to THINK about what you’re nameing a post!) and WTH is about Pinterest and how can it help out a blog site.  Well, my chickens, it turns out I’m going to be trying out a Pinterest feature  on the Bookworms- so be looking for that soon……Heather and I also went to a little Indie Publishing event, and that was fun to chat with new people and pick up a few books.


Tuesday – We woke up way early to head out to the opening day of BEA. Aka: get used to standing in lines! Heather and I were in line for the opening and did a pretty good job snagging a couple of books at the drop over at Hyperion and I got the new book by Deborah Harkness signed to me! Very exciting! Then we made our way scoring some sweet looking bags and books….in the end I grabbed WAY TOO MANY. *gulp* like 50 or so?

Lesson learned: Be choosy…don’t make eye contact unless you want the book….and just enjoy yourself!

That evening after the really cool Teen Carnival (which Danny already blogged about) I was able to reunite with a couple of old friends from high school and college at a nice little restaurant and unwind a bit. But it was a loooong day!

Wednesday – I feel like it’s “Dear Diary” but let me tell you, my eyes were SO OVER my contacts at this point, but my glasses are loose, so I was worried they would fall off my head in a frenzy…So I stabbed my contacts in and away we went! The good thing about Wednesday is I kinda knew the layout and what I had missed. I had a great time meeting people while waiting in line at the autograph booths, as well as find a few other books that I was looking forward to.  Some of my book karma paid off and I was able to trade a book with a fellow blogger, as I had something she really wanted and vice versa. Whoo hooo for book karma! Oh and I ate lunch with Patti Smith and Neil Young. No big…

That evening Danny and Pushy were able to add us to their Penguin Party invite and Heather and I had fun chatting with even more bloggers and authors (and the nice spread and open bar wasn’t too bad either!) By some stroke of luck (I’m blaming psychic cabbie) I won a  gift certificate to Penguin Classics… Sweet!

Thursday – So tired, but I was up by 6 to get to the Javis Center by 7am to stand in line (sensing a theme here, friends?) for the Author Breakfast. I would like to say I went so I could see the great Pulitzer Prize winners: Michael Chabon and J.R. Moehringer. But I didn’t, I went to see Jimmy Fallon!

But surprise, surprise, I enjoyed hearing from the moderator, Kirstie Alley, as well as Chabon, Moehringer and Zadie Smith. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from her speech:

“What’s more common in writers is this introverted extroversion. And in this now I come to think of it, booksellers and writers are fundamentally similar. We are all introverted extroverts; we are all readers. My favorite kind of bookseller is that nervous young woman who mangles a perfectly straightforward conversation about the weather, or last night’s television, then suddenly coming to life, brilliant and articulate and newly beautiful, because you happened to have picked off the shelf a book close to her heart.  That’s your classic introvert/extrovert. Someone for whom an enthusiasm is a way of expressing intimacy. And hand selling a book to a customer is such an intimate transaction.  It demands an introvert has to admit an enthusiasm to another introvert.” -Zadie Smith

Hands down it was the workshops and the author meetings that meant the most to me during BEA. What great stories and insight to their writing process as well as why and how they wrote their most recent books. And guess what – you can watch the breakfast HERE! (Note to younger viewers, or those with little ears around, they do swear…and they swear the Big Ones…so be careful.)

Watch live streaming video from authorbreakfasts at

Finally it was time to wrap up the day with a couple more signings and then off to the midwest in a plane.  I’ll have all my books updated on my Goodreads very soon!

So, was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Will I go again, I most certainly hope so! Should you go if you blog or are a buying, or even just a lover of books? YES! I don’t think there is anywhere else where you can learn so much about the entire spectrum of books. I met other bloggers, young and old librarians, owners of small bookstores, book buyers for big and small bookstores, publishers, PR directors, authors, dabblers, readers, and fans.  I learned something new from all of them. And I just loved it.

The pile of books I took home is daunting, but I will do my best to make a dent and post my reviews!


Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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29 Responses to “Kristen’s BEA Reflections”

  1. Sounds like you had a great time. I loved the breakfast I went to most of all–those are totally worth it. If you have a choice about BEA, I’d saw go! It was just wonderful.

    My co-blogger mentioned she ran into someone from this blog, I’m not sure if it was you or Danny….

    • I will definitely make it to more of the morning events….I loved them! I’ll have to see who your co-blogger is. Tho Danny, Pushy and Heather and I were there and mingling all over the place!

    • Hi Alison! It was great to meet you too! I had planned on just taking a picture but then thought, “What the heck!” Out of all the pics I posted on FB about BEA that picture has the most comments! LOL! He was really nice and and smelled GOOOOOOD…..

  2. Hehe, I just love hearing about BEA adventures! The first time you go to BEA probably IS overwhelming because there’s so much going on at a time and I’ve seen pictures of the crowds — I’d probably be terrified! x) But I’m glad that you had fun, Kristen! I’m kind of thankful I don’t wear glasses haha…. but hopefully they invent super-comfortable ones by next year? :’)

    Thanks for sharing, Kristen!
    Mimi Valentine recently posted..Summer Essentials Blog Tour: Guest Posts + Giveaways!My Profile

  3. Excellent thoughts Kristen!!

    This year it was also my first time at BEA and I also felt I learnt a whole lot from all the people I got the pleasure to meet ^_^

    And truth be told, it’s like super addictive. Im already looking forward for next year’s BEA XD LOL!

    Happy reading sweethear <3
    Natalia Belikov recently posted..BEA Day 3 Recap 🙂My Profile

    • It was amazing, wasn’t it? And yes, I’m not sure if I can turn it down next year…knowing what I would miss. But we’ll have to see how finances, etc line up again.

      Enjoy your books!!! (My bookshelf is FREAKING out!)
      Kristen recently posted..Kristen’s BEA ReflectionsMy Profile

  4. Greta

    WOW!! You got a hug from Mike Holmes?!!

    Got to eat lunch with Neil Young?!!

    Got a ton of Hobbity goodness bags?!!

    Went to see Jimmy Fallon?!!

    I’m officially jealous!

      • Greta

        I bet!!! Did you smack his arms!! I’d be all -smack smack!! Are those muscles real? -smack smack!!

        I’m sure security would have to get involved.

        Smack smack.

        And you got me giftys!! ZOMG! I’m tickled pink flamingo!

        You need to go next year and smuggle me inside your huge purse!! I’ll learn how to become a contortionist. I have a year to practice 😉

    • Grabby hands are a MUST!!!! 50 is good…ending with 85….not so good…..However, I have some happy kids, a happy husband, happy friends and happy bookshelf. And loads of review/giveaway fodder! So it’s worth it!

  5. How great that yo got the Deb Harkness book. DofW was on sale recently so I downloaded it. I may go on to the next story after I read DofW.

    I didn’t hit any workshops of Breakfasts because last year I didn’t get much from them. Funny though on the train home Kirstie was sitting in front of me all the way to Boston and had never heard of BE. So, when she got the breakfast gig I thought it was quite a coincidence.

    • She was really candid and fun to listen to – and in some ways I think it’s good to have an actor kick things off…you can tell the authors aren’t as happy/good at public speaking. HOWEVER – I enjoyed all of their speeches just as much! Kirstie was really funny and animated tho.
      Kristen recently posted..Kristen’s BEA ReflectionsMy Profile

    • I’ve watched parts of that vid like 3 times….You definitely have to find the part when Choban talks about his friend’s hands…..Beautiful.

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