1. The book that is being given away left and right is going to be the book you are going to be sick of hearing about in six months. So read that right away before hype fatigue becomes a problem.
2. If you try to crash the librarian’s special reception/lounge, you will be met with stronger language than “quiet, please.” Unless you are a librarian, in which case it is all high-fives and ass-slaps. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to librarians; you should. You should definitely look for them at the bars and buy them tequila sunrises. You really haven’t gazed into the dark void of book nerddom until some glassy-eyed children’s librarian delivers an homily on her love of Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
3. Do not drop your business card into every “WIN AN IPAD” giveaway. The only thing you will win is an unstemmable tide of email spam.
4. Drinking game idea: go to a trend panel and do a shot every time someone uses reason or evidence. By the end, you’ll still be as sober as a Japanese nuclear engineer.
5. Check out the remainder pavilion but don’t dawdle. The dudes who lurk there are a little sketchy. Like drives-a-windowless-minivan-and-knows-his-way-around-a-roll-of-ducttape sketchy.
6. If you find yourself waiting and hour for an autographed copy of some C-list celebrity’s ghostwritten memoir, then it’s time to reconsider your station in life and your prospects for future happiness. Also, wave to me.
7. Do not tell a clutch of self-pubbed novelists that you write reviews. Save yourself the time by getting on the 6 train to the Bronx Zoo, cutting your femoral artery, and jumping into the piranha tank.
8. No one likes a free totebag whore. No one that is, except people looking for people to mock on Twitter.
9. To maximize your quality-value ratio, don’t eat at any restaurants between 30th Street and 72nd Street. Unless it is a vaguely “pan-Asian” restaurant. Those places are only slightly below average, but pretty damn cheap.
10. Go to The Strand, but not with a shopping list. Pretend you are in the last scene of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and pick out just one thing--“Choose wisely.”
11. Don’t bother with a map of the Javits Center. Just let the random placement of escalators flow over you.
12. The press area’s refreshment spread might make a Benedictine monk’s fridge look downright decadent, but there are chairs and Ethernet ports. Also, it seems to be scantily policed, so you don’t even have to have a lightly-trafficked literary blog to get in.
That's all I have for you. Stay tuned for woefully ill-informed and poorly-researched live-coverage from BEA next week!
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