This past weekend I had a chance to attend the ALA Midwinter Conference that was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center here in Philadelphia. It was three days of glorious book overload. I currently have a roommate that is a children's library for the Free Library of Philadelphia and she was the one who really turned me on to the idea of going.
There were some things that I could not attend, as they were for ALA members only, but all the best things were open for my enjoyment. The exhibit hall was what I imagine heaven to be like, rows upon rows of book publishers handing out ARCs and showcasing recently published titles. The booth size definitley depended upon the publishers. I found that the smaller publishers were more interested in talking and answering questions about their books than the larger ones, but everyone was very pleasant and helpful. The largest booths were for HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House.
I went all three days that were open to the public and lets just say I went a little crazy. Saturday was the first day that I could attend and lets just say I was a little overwhelmed, people were literally handing me tote bags to fill with books and I couldn't have been more excited. I only stayed for a little while because I had to work that afternoon, I ended up coming home with a modest 17 books. Some of them I had no idea about, but either sounded interesting or the cover drew me in.
Sunday is when things started going downhill. I went early in the morning thinking I would beat some of the rush and I was right, but it became a very dangerous thing for my back and arms. With less people around I was able to take more time to really look through the booths and at the books, which of course, made me pick up sooo many more than the day before. I was only there for an hour and a half and I went a little book crazy. I ended up bringing home 50 books!A cab was necessary to get home because there was no way I could have made the ten minute walk from the el to my house. I got mostly ARCs this day, with a few already published books in the mix.
Monday was probably my favorite day of all three. As it was the last day of the conference a lot of the publishers were giving away their display books (ranging from ARCs to published hardcovers) away. There were long lines and waiting, but I was able to get in pretty early for all three of the bigger publishers and get some great books. I came away with almost twenty really nice hardcovers that would have set me back quite a bit. Monday yielded me another 34 books.
Overall, after those three days I came away with over 100 books!! All FREE!!! For a student in college that loves to read this is pretty amazing and I had a great weekend. Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing a meme that is very prevalent in the blogging community and is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, Stacking the Shelves. Because there is over 100 books to showcase I am thinking about doing them in groups of ten, that way it is not an overly long post and I can make a little blurb about each one.
Something that I was a little disappointed to not take mart in was the Rainbow Rowell book signing. She was signing hardcover copies of Fangirl and I really would have liked to be there but had to work that afternoon. (I ended up getting an unsigned copy the next day, so I am still happy!) I really had a great time and can't wait to start reading some of these books!