BookCon: A Great Place to Share Your Love of Reading


BookCon is not perfect, but I believe that at its core it is still a great place to go if you want to share your love of reading with others.

Walking into the convention this year, I already knew that it would be distinctly different from the BookCon I attended two years ago. For a start, it seemed that there would be a near record-breaking amount of people attending the book lovers convention. From the influx of fan posts on the BookCon app, I saw that people were lined up for hours in an enormous queue just to get onto the main floor right at 10 a.m. I also knew that it would be different, however, because of all of the restrictions that were placed on book signings and book giveaways. These restrictions led many fans–a lot of whom were experiencing BookCon for the first time–to leave the convention feeling slighted by exhibiters and by the convention as a whole.

One thing that I was particularly surprised by was the need to get separate tickets two weeks prior to the convention in order to get a book signed by most authors in the autographing area. Because of my hectic schedule prior to moving to New York City this summer, I had no clue that we needed tickets for signings until after they had already sold out. Though the signings were free, many people were unable to see their favorite author because of this attempt to minimize lines. I also saw many first time BookCon goers complaining that there were not nearly as many free books as they were “promised.” Though there’s much more to BookCon than free books, I did notice that publishers were selling books much more than they were giving out free ones.

With all the negatives aside, BookCon was still an event that brought thousands of book lovers together to share their love of reading. One of my favorite parts of BookCon is–strangely enough—standing and/or sitting in line for a long time waiting for an in-booth galley drop or signing and suddenly making friends with all of the people around you. Through our shared distain for standing in line and shared love for books, we can forge temporary bonds that may even turn into long-lasting online friendships.

I also attended two panels this BookCon–one featuring four female young adult authors and one featuring the three “booktubers” that make up the online book club Booksplosion. It was so refreshing to see a panel with four female authors, all of whom shared a love of fantasy/sci-fi writing. At the panel, entitled “Magic and Power,” the authors discussed not only the topics in the title, but also the concepts of world building–both creating entirely new worlds and describing the real world in a way that readers from all different backgrounds can understand it. They also discussed their process in making complex main characters who–like real people–have both positive and negative attributes. I think that panels will always be a great part of BookCon because they allow consumers to interact with the members of the publishing community that they admire.

Stacy, Intern for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.