Last week, as we were cramming everything possible into Thursday and early Friday before Memorial Day weekend, I suddenly realized that the short week was going to be even shorter. Or, in some ways, endlessly long. It is BEA week, which I love on one hand (as I've said in this space many times I LOVE trade shows. Have since my baseball days, when we used our tote bags to pick up t-shirt designs and bobblehead dolls instead of ARCs and publisher catalogs...); and also know that it's going to be unexpectedly inefficient.
That's because unlike the London Book Fair or Bouchercon, BEA is on US Publishing's Home Turf, so there's no packing, and we just sort of say "OK, who has what meetings on what days?" We never take into account that the schedule gets packed, and that it takes 45 minutes to get to or from the Javits Center from anywhere. Including, say, Los Angeles.
Which is not to say I'm looking forward to the BEA's upcoming move to Chicago etc--I LIKE being able to take the kids to school and then schlep over to 11th Avenue. And I know my friends reading this in their hotel rooms are not at all sympathetic to these (really halfhearted) complaints. But that's the fun of BEA week--NY publishing professionals get together to complain. Largely about everything related to the Javits Center, from the lines for coffee (long) to the distance you need to walk everywhere (long) to the wait on the wifi for your email to load (long). Sarah Weinman tweeted it well last night:
@sarahw 12h12 hours ago
Tomorrow is the first day of officially complaining about BEA