Austin Teen Book Festival. Guys, this thing was AWESOME! I knew it was big, but I had no idea that people were literally driving in from hours away just to be part of the fun. I talked to several other book lovers throughout the day, and none of them were from Austin!
I arrived with hopes of seeing a particular panel, but I arrived late and then couldn't figure out the layout right away. So instead I wandered around and checked out the vendor booths. There were so many great booths! And I mean great booths, all the way from local authors, the library, and publishers. It was great! I snagged a bunch of goodies including two posters and two bumper stickers. It's too bad I'm not big on sticking bumper stickers to my car, otherwise they'd be on there now. I need to come up with something else cool to do with them instead. I also purchased my books!
Anyways, after that panel I had lunch with some lovely librarians from all over Texas. I marveled at the sheer number of people in attendance. So many book lovers in one place. There were adults with small children, a bunch of middle schoolers with their parents in tow, a ton of teenagers, and then a large number of adults without any children in tow. It was amazing.
After lunch I attended three more panels. The first was by far my favorite panel of the entire day: Dark Days. The panel included Madeleine Roux (Asylum), local author Sherry Thomas (Burning Sky), Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink), Michelle Gagnon (Don't Turn Around, Don't Look Now), Rae Carson (The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers, Bitter Kingdom), and moderator Amy Tintera (Reboot). This panel was full of awesomeness that can't be described. You can tell the authors are on tour together as they played off each others answers and they were so freaking funny. I left that panel wanting to buy and read all of their books. Too bad I'm not made of money! But a very good thing the Austin Public Library put together a list of the books featured at the festival on their site. (I've requested them all. lol)
Of course at the end it was time to race from line to line to get autographs. We were slightly disappointed when we were still in a very long line and wanted more autographs, but they closed off the lines because our time in the Convention Center was up. We were all practically kicked out of there so clean up could commence and then the organizers could be kicked out as well. The security lady sure was sticking to the noted time everyone was to be out of the building.
All in all it was an exciting day and an event I will be sure to catch again in the future. It's events like this that help me to discover new books that I might not have added to my to-read list otherwise. Seriously fun! And I can't forget to mention the amazing group of teens from PSJA ISD. I talked to one student while in line for a while and was shocked to learn they were up at 1am to take a bus to the festival. Seriously, that's dedication. And their librarian who organized the whole trip, well, lets just say I am in complete awe and though I didn't meet her, I think she's completely awesome.
Here's a link to the PW article all about the festival. Now, who wants to join me next year?