On Saturday morning, I headed to the Javits Center for the first ever BookCon! BookCon is an all day event that brings book lovers together for a chance to interact with authors, publishers, celebrities and more. It’s an interactive event that holds panels, autograph sessions, trivia and more!
I walked towards the Javits and was immediately drawn in by free ice coffee from Oyster Books! A worker began to explain to me about the company as I got my first free thing of the day. I haven’t even gotten my badge to go inside yet! Although the ice coffee was just awful. (Sorry!) I was glad to start the day right.
I headed on line where I saw a ton of exciting faces waiting to get inside and see what was in store. I got my badge and was in awe at the big banners of authors and books coming soon. I was in the right place.
I walked into the showroom and felt overwhelmed. There was so many books and so many people. This was the first time I’ve been to a convention and I didn’t know the basic rules. I thought people were exaggerating when they said bring a luggage. I was given a bag and by the end of one aisle I had over 10 books in my bag! How in the heck was I going to travel the rest of the day with this?
At first, I saw copies of books just laying on display. I thought to myself: Do I just grab it? I watched as someone pick a book up, put it in their bag and walked to the next one. I picked up my first book and I continue to grab book after book. It was the first time I picked up one without focusing on the cover or the synopsis. It felt amazing.
Soon enough, we went to our first panel. It was The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks. This panel was very informative and interesting. I think more people should be aware of this campaign and what they stand for. We Need Diverse Books‘ mission is to address the lack of diversity in children literature. The panel featured authors like Matt de la Pena (The Living) and Jacqueline Woodson (Beneath a Meth Moon) of many backgrounds discussing what people can do to bring more awareness to the issue and to encourage more representation of all backgrounds whether it’s race, sexual orientation or disabilities in literature.
My cousin and I left that panel inspired and wanting more, but it was difficult going to all of them with the conflicting time schedules. I felt like I was back in high school, rushing to get to the next class. We waited on a long line to later find out the next panel we wanted to go to was full. But that just made us wanted to go upstairs to get more books.
The next event we stumbled upon was General Literature Trivia hosted by Trivia, AD. It was questions based on 3/4 of the books I already read yet I couldn’t quite figure all of the questions. There were questions like who said a particular quote to what was true or false about the statement given. I was surprised how much I couldn’t remember and I loved all the books that were used. Trivia, AD hosts a bunch of events, mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn, on different movies, tv shows and books. I wouldn’t mind doing this again when I’m more prepared.
Once the event was over, it was time for the second panel. It was called Humans of New York, after the well-known blog that has been reblogged on Tumblr and shared on Facebook countless of times. Humans of New York (HONY) is a collection of photographs and quotes of people of New York. This panel had Founder and CEO of Tumblr David Karp (!!!), who interviewed the creator of HONY Brandon Stanton as they discussed how such a small idea four years ago became a huge sensation.
It was interesting to find out his interview techniques and how he’s able to approach people, take their photo and have people be so vulnerable with him. It was good tips to know as a journalist and just as a regular person to approach someone and start a conversation.
One of the main reasons why we went to BookCon is for the Fault In Our Stars panel. The panel didn’t start until 3:30 p.m, yet there was a huge crowd waiting to line up for it an hour before. When it was time to line up, there was a stampede! I felt like I was in the middle of a hundred fangirls waiting for One Direction or Justin Bieber, instead I was surrounded by John Green fangirls, something I never thought can reach that level of celebrity for an author.
After an hour of waiting, we went inside the Special Events Hall where a short clip of the movie was given. Author John Green (Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska), Nat Wolf (Naked Brothers Band, Stuck In Love), director Josh Boone as well as others sat at the panel to discuss the process of creating a movie adaptation of the popular book.
It was fun to listen to the process, but it was more fun watching my cousin’s excitement over the author. It was even a moment during the Q&A when John Green got off the stage to hug a boy who thanked him for writing a scene that determine whether or not he should have his fake leg on or off during sex. (If you read the book, you would understand how funny that statement was.)
Overall the experience was so fun! Whether it was BookCon or any other convention, I recommend anyone to go at least to one in their lifetime. I would definitely be going again next year with a luggage this time.
Which convention have you been to? What was it like?