Day One (Saturday)The day before ALA, I was super nervous and anxious. I was following the Twitter hashtag #alamw15 to see the opening madness of the exhibits. It just got me even more pumped up!! I couldn't wait to go to the next day.
When I got there, I actually entered the wrong building and if it weren't for the security guards who told the two ladies in front of me where the event really was, I would have gotten lost. But I followed them and thankfully the building was connected to the right building.
This was exactly why I wanted to get there 30 minutes early and it worked to my advantage. I was able to to go to the "registered in advance" counters and picked up my badge and tote. And I had
around 15 minutes to spare.
It wasn't even that crazy to get into the exhibits. I was in front and there weren't a lot of people. No running and pushing, thankfully.
I went straight to the Bloomsbury booth and immediately asked for A Court Of Thorns and Roses!! And I have it now!! It was my number one galley that I really wanted to get!
It was pretty hot in that exhibit floor. I came early when they opened and there weren't that many people. But then it started getting packed like crazy. It got so hot and I was just walking so much and I got so exhausted. I had to go rest like two times to give myself a break and organize my bags. Because with all the freebies and galleys around, you tend to just pick something up and just shove it like you're anxious to get your hands on something else. But I actually think I did okay with all the free stuff laying around. I didn't really take that much.
I was surprised that I was able to talk to some of the publicists and ask them for copies that were not out in display. Some were really cheerful and friendly and excited about the books. Others just looked like they were bored and didn't want to be there.
I was so wrong about that.
I kept going back to the same booths especially to Harper Collins and Penguin Random House because they kept adding so many galleys. Whenever I left and then came back, they would add some more new ones.
Then I remembered that I wanted to go to the Harlequin booth because I wanted to get an arc of Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry. But I couldn't find the booth. By the time I did find it, there weren't any arcs left. It was a bit upsetting but I did pick up another one of their arcs that seemed pretty interesting.
In the midst of all the craziness, I had forgotten about some of the arcs I knew were going to be there. And I didn't get them like The Remedy!! I even forgot about the author signings. Mostly because I left earlier and I also couldn't find the Flux booth where there was three signings. Or the other smaller publishers. There were no maps and I desperately needed one. I mean they handed you a book with the floor plans but it didn't have the names of the publishers. Just the booth number. I didn't want to keep stopping just to check it. It's more fun if you just wing it.
By the end of the day, I became very ill. I got a terrible headache and my body was beyond exhausted and aching because of all the walking I did. This was after all my first book event and I was completely overwhelmed.
It was the primary reason why I didn't go to ALA on Sunday and because of the huge snowstorm that dropped like around 19 inches of snow. I wasn't even expecting to go back on Monday.
Day Two (Monday)
I was really glad that I went back Monday because the day before, I was told that most publishers would be giving away their display copies and arcs they had left. So I got to the convention center around 10am and I walked around a bit. I picked up at least 4 arcs that I wanted. And I was noticing that there wasn't much left. Because by this point, the publishers were already packing up since it was the last day.
Then I was at the Penguin Random House booth and the lady told me they would be giving the display copies at noon and there was already a line. I walked around a bit and then just got in line. I waited in line for like 30 minutes. Not because there were a lot of people. But because I was there early. 30 MINUTES EARLY! But there was already a lot people and I wanted the chance to get something. There was only like 10 people in front of me. So once it started, I got in pretty quick. We were told we could pick 5 PenguinTeen books and 5 Random House books. So I got ten books!!
Though while I was in line, I really didn't want to wait. I didn't think I would get good books that I actually wanted. I felt like I was wasting my time and just wanted to get out and try to actually find some other booths that were giving away books. I knew that I wanted to get to the Harper Booth because I also knew they were giving away their books away as well.
But I got out of the Penguin Random House booth fairly quick. And went straight for the Harper Booth. To my surprise, there weren't a lot of people in line either. I got 3 books and then went to the adult side of Harper Collins where I got 1 book. Then I got back in line in the Harper Teen side again because we were allowed to do so and got even more books!!
I was super happy because I ended up getting more books than I thought I would.
I went to the Harlequin booth and the publicist gave me Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry!! I was so happy because on Saturday, they had run out. And so she gave me the display copy.
By that point, I was getting ready to leave but I went to the Disney Hyperion booth and they had arcs of INVADED by Melissa Landers. Though I knew that it's release day was the next day, I was still excited because I got the chance to start it early!!
Some of my surprises of the day was that there were publishers selling their books!! I did not like that. I mean I know that they didn't want to take the books back with them. But it kind of made me feel like they were taking advantage of the people.
My only problem now is that I have so many arcs that I want to read. I know that I want to finish the arcs that I do have. But then what?!
I am trying to make it easier and read them before the month that they are due to be released. That's exactly how I stacked them.
Here are some more photos!!
That was my ALA experience and my first bookish event ever!! Now hopefully I can go to BEA in 2016 when it also comes to Chicago. Also I wanted to point out that I will be posting my book haul this upcoming Saturday for the Stacking The Shelve meme. Stay tuned for that!!