Seattle’s Best

No no, not the coffee. I spent last weekend in Seattle for the ALA Midwinter meeting. After praying a little half-heartedly for a blizzard to strand me on the East Coast, I sucked it up and realized that a.) I actually really tend to enjoy the conferences once I get there and b.) I wanted to see my friends from … well, everywhere! Unfortunately, I only ran into one of my LSU Ex-Pats buddies since I didn’t get in till almost midnight Friday (we normally have dinner/drinks on Friday evening). However, I did see Beth and lots of folks from Swarthmore (although somehow I missed out on talking with Meg more… boo hiss!) And then I got to catch up with all my friends from WSS – Kelly and Piper and Jane and Heather and Jennifer and Diana and Jennifer and Rebecca and Cynthia and on and on and on. I can’t believe how much fun I have with these women – people I never would have met if it hadn’t been for the American Library Association and its annoying requirements that anyone who is on a committee must attend both the annual and midwinter meetings. So over the course of many years, if you stick around in the same section, you get to know people. And I like these people – a lot! I also like how each year someone new shows up and gets sucked into the fold. I’m hoping that happened this year with a couple of people.

Besides being in Seattle and walking around a lot, I ate some good food, went to a bona fide lesbian bar (with the WSS folks, even though they’re definitely not all playing on that team), and spent a lot of time in Pike’s Place Market trying to avoid the impending headaches that invariably come when I’m in places like that (I wasn’t successful – thank god for figuring out what OTC drugs keep my headaches from turning down the twisted path into migraine-land.)

Lest you think that all I did was socialize, I’ll have you know that I had a ton of meetings to attend, and spent several hours on the exhibit floor. Of course, I managed to mostly pick up advance reader’s copies of 18 (yes, eighteen) books this conference. I think that’s a record for me, and I’m not sure I’m completely proud of it. (My dratted cell phone won’t let me send the photo I took in my hotel room.  Suffice to say that the photo of all 18 books is funny). But hey – free books! I’ve already finished three of them (Summer at Tiffany, Bad Monkeys, and The Knitting Circle) and started the fourth this mornings (A Perfect Mess). I love getting to read books before they’re released to the general public. Often times I pick up books I wouldn’t give a second thought to in the bookstore and end up enjoying them immensely and passing them on to people I think would like them. Water for Elephants was one I picked up last year and passed around to about 10 folks at work.

So this year I’m trying to figure out how I can finagle going to BookExpo America. It’s right at the end of May in NYC and doesn’t cost all that much for a librarian’s one-day pass. I’m thinking that even if they don’t give out the number of advance reader’s copies that they do at ALA, it would be an educational experience.  Have any of you ever attended?  What were your experiences?

My assessment of Seattle: thumbs-up!  I’d go there again in a heartbeat and would love to see a lot more of the city than the area I could during this conference.

2 thoughts to “Seattle’s Best”

  1. Funny you should mention Book Expo, Megan! I’ve got the card for it (which came attached to a most excellent piece of chocolate) up on my fridge with a note to myself to see if I can fit in a daytrip in May. I’ve always wanted to go – maybe I can talk Pam into going with me. And if you go, maybe we can see each other for more than two seconds!!

    I got a huge stack of pre-pubs too, some I’m really jazzed about. It’s definately my favorite part of ALA these days …

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