Hey there! I just got back to Illinois after a quick weekend trip to Florida for the American Library Association’s 2016 Annual Conference. I had a blast! Not only was it my first major book conference (I’ve only ever been to ALA Mid-Winter before) but it was also the first time that I’ve flown anywhere. Almost 32 years old and I can finally say that I’ve been on a plane. Clearly I wasn’t missing much. We flew on a smaller airline and it was only a 2 hour flight so it really didn’t make an impression one way or the other.
We met Alexa and Johnny in Orlando on Friday night and went to an NXT wrestling match. I’m not even going to pretend that this is normally my thing. Not even a little bit. I had SO much fun. The first half hour or so I held back and didn’t get into it. To be honest the first guy that came out was masked and doing a creepy kind of dance and he scared the bejeezus out of me. After that I was all in. I wasn’t allowing myself to have fun because of stereotypes but once I got over myself I was having a blast. In fact at one point I remember yelling “Elbow him in the FACE!!!” Of course after clearing with Johnny that the move was allowed first. It was a ton of fun.
Saturday morning dawned bright and early. We wanted to get to the convention center on time because the doors opened at 9 am and Heartless by Marissa Meyer dropped at that time. Truly ALA was not crowded and I decided this weekend that I could never attend BEA. For as mild as ALA is I was still in sensory overload. I don’t think that I could do it at BEA. ALA will work for me. 🙂 Most of Saturday was pretty awesome. I went in hoping to get two books that were for sure on my wishlist and I acquired them without any issue. I was satisfied with that alone.
I expected to be pretty selective about what I picked up. My first conference I accepted whatever was thrown at me and if I thought it sounded even remotely interesting I picked it up. This year, I mostly succeeded in picking up only what I really wanted. There were a few wild grabs in there but those could be the most surprising. There is one large priority mail box that had to be mailed so those 10 to 15 books aren’t included in this picture.
I was able to meet so many authors that I knew at this conference! Emery Lord, Heather Graham, and Gayle Forman are the first three that came to mind. There were so many great authors. And I was so lucky to get in as many as I did. Thank goodness for Alexa and her organizing skills!
One of the highlights of my Sunday was standing in line for the signing of Ever Hunted. I ended up in a cluster of book bloggers and they gave me so many memories. I’ve been blogging for 6 years now and every time I come across bloggers in the semi-wild I am amazed at what an open and accepting group we are and how quickly we can connect!
I have to say this made my ALA conference:
We were walking through the Harlequin booth Sunday morning when I noticed four galleys of Kristan Higgins’s newest book. I didn’t even know what book it was but I asked the rep if they were giving away any of the galleys. She looked at me and said that because of the look on my face alone (I was totally fangirling!) she could tell that I was a true fan and she would give me a copy. It made my ALA! It is unfortunately in the box winging its way to me. Soon I shall have my precious back.
I can’t wait to attend ALA in Chicago in 2017 as long as it is still open to people outside of the librarian industry!