Thankfully day two did not start at 4:30am! Ok, so 6:00 am isn’t much better, but it’s not 4:30am! Michelle met me at the hotel at 7:00am and we promptly jumped on the shuttle bus and headed to the opening of the exhibits. She had yet to register and with this being my first time I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, the lines weren’t that bad and she had her badge before 8:00am. Of course, this meant we had an hour to kill so we decided to get some (overpriced!) breakfast. We also had time to jump over to the will-call line to get the tickets Jessica had passed off to Michelle. (So wish you could have been at the events Jess!!)
At 9:00am the exhibits opened and everyone rushed in. My plan had already been to head to Scholastic first; after all, I would almost sell my soul forCatching Fire. So, we get there and are told to form a line and they’d release copies at 10:00am. Thankfully, we were one of the first 10-15 people in line. You have no idea how many happy dances I did. Since we had an hour to wait, I left Michelle in line to grab my other top must-haves, which included Fire and Rage: a Love Story. I still cannot believe I was able to get both of them. Swung back to the line and there was still a good amount of time to wait. I get horribly antsy when waiting in lines so I decided to swing over to Little Brown. This is when I met my favorite rep. of the entire weekend, Connie Hsu. Let me tell you she totally rocked my world. She gave me soooooooo many good MG & YA recommendations it is not even funny. They had a sheet so that ARCs could be mailed after ALA and I added several because of her! In fact, she had me so enthralled with recommendations I almost didn’t make it back for Catching Fire! They decided to open the boxes early (around 9:30am) and I literally got there as they started to pass them out! I was also able to get a super cool Scholastic bag and a copy of Shiver at the end.
My next big thing to do was to go to the Cindy Pon signing; but since we had a time to waste, we decided to check out some of the other publishers. I think we may have run over to Simon & Schuster to grab my last must-have, The Hollow. I really can’t remember who we all checked out while we waited, but I know we went back to Harper Collins, Feiwel & Friends, Random House and Little Brown. I do remember being at Harper Collins and hearing this guy talking. I looked up and realized, Hey that’s John Green! I always feel super nervous around him, so I didn’t say anything to interrupt his ARC-getting. (Plus, as many times as I’ve been running into him I’ve felt a little stalkerish). I also managed to snag pictures of the Eyes Like Stars, Prophecy of the Sisters, and Beautiful Creatures displays! I simply could not be at ALA without showing some love to my ninja-masters
So finally, it was time for Cindy Pon to sign! I was super excited about getting the chance to meet her. In fact, I think I was the very first person in line since she wasn’t really set up completely yet. She was super sweet and nice and she totally made my day when she knew who I was just off my twitter name. I also got one of her GORGEOUS bookmarks signed and she insisted we take a picture together. (I was still a little too shy to whip out my own camera!) I was basically all smiles anytime I mentioned the signing. After, we ran over to see how the Holly Black line was, which wasn’t bad at all. So we jumped in line and got a copy of Geektastic signed. I really wish I had remembered my hardcover of the book. I really hate keeping ARCs and haven’t quite decided what I’ll do with two copies now!
We spent a lot more time wandering around the different booths. I got a LOT of good MG & YA recommendations from the different reps, ARCs. (I’m really shaky on MG titles and am so glad there were a lot of available titles. I feel bad that I can’t recommend titles for 6-8 graders with ease). Along the way I ran into KB and Jess. I was so happy to see both of my girls. I know neither one posts on Book Blather anymore, but I am still so grateful for the times they did and adore them being in my life. Jess walked around with us for a bit, which was awesome! We even stopped and got a book signed by the amazing Simone Elkeles. I gushed a little about how great she was the day before and was very happy to learn that she’ll be doing a sequel to Perfect Chemistry. Since our bags were getting a bit heavy, Michelle and I decided to go unload some of our books and grab some lunch at Miller’s Pub. (Let me tell you, they have GOOD burgers!)
After lunch, we headed right back to the exhibits. I really wanted the sweet bag that Wizards of the Coast were giving away, so we headed there first. They had more available and were just giving them out again as we arrived. I also got to sign up for a starter kit for D&D and Magic the Gather for my teens! I didn’t even have to listen to the guy’s spiel to say yes! I’ve been wanting to start more tabletop games at my library since February, but lacked the $$ needed to get everything I would need to get it going. The kit should get me a good basic start and I should be able to request money to get any extras I may need. Now just to get my current DM to teach me how to run a campaign! We did manage to walk down all the exhibit rows. My afternoon favorites were Viz Media and Mango (good smoothies and free shirt!) By 3:00pm we were beat and decided to head back to the hotel to rest before the night’s activities.
Here are some of the books I’m really looking forward to that I’ve yet to mention:
– Bad Apple by Laura Ruby
– Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
– Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
– Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
– Forest Born by Shannon Hale
– Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks
After a quick rest, we took off to Naperville for the Laurie Halse Anderson/Sarah Dessen signing at Anderson’s. It was INSANE! There had to be at least 250 people and it was HOT. (It was sidewalk days so they couldn’t close the back door, which meant that the store couldn’t cool off) Despite the heat and no chairs, it was great to hear LHA/SD speak a little and answer questions. They didn’t talk long so that everyone would have a chance to get their book signed. Since I was #151 I had a while to wait. I talked to KB a bit and wandered around the store. I spotted Chelsea (The Page Flipper), Kristi (The Story Siren), and Sarah (GreenBeanTeenQueen). While I was pretty sure it was them, I wasn’t sure so it took me a while to go talk to them. I wish I had said something sooner because I would have loved to talk to them more. Luckily, I would run into all of them again over the next couple of days! Thankfully the line moved relatively quick and we were out of the inferno in less than an hour. After some Cold Stone ice cream, we headed home.
All in all, a super amazing day. I can’t believe how many books I was able to snag and the good recommendations I received. I know there has been some drama about bloggers being at ALA. Personally, I loved the chance to meet my fellow book bloggers. It was a nice connection to make and I hope that I’ll be able to form/continue a friendship with them all. I also understand the world of good that blogging can do! It’s thanks to bloggers that I’m able to keep up with the majority of new releases coming out. I can’t even count the number of books I’ve ordered for my collection thanks to them. However, I can understand the complaints. ARCs disappeared so fast due to limited amounts and it is very sad if a librarian was ignored for a non-librarian blogger. Often times, ALA is the only chance for librarians to make contact with reps. Honestly, I can’t complain on either front. Obviously I walked away with great books and got plenty of attention from the reps as well. (Although, I promise most of these will be going to my teens once I’m done with them.) I really wish librarians and bloggers could find a way to bridge the gap more since I think we can both benefit from each other. If any one has ideas, I am open and willing to discuss/try any suggestion.
Ok, this post is long enough now. Day three will be coming soon.