2016 is the first year that I am not attending any of the big book conventions. I didn't attend BEA because I was in Europe, I am not currently attending ALA because I have my internships and no money leftover after Europe, and I won't be attending NYCC because I have so much going on in my last semester of school that I simply won't have the time or headspace to handle it.
When these realizations hit me, I was initially really sad. Sure, I'll miss the books, but I'll mostly miss seeing all my bookish people that I typically can only see at conventions. And yes, that sucks. But then I realized I don't really miss the books.
Sure, I asked a few friends to grab me anything that strikes them as a "Lili" book, as I would do for them, but I find myself a bit thankful that I am not attending any conventions this year. I feel an intense obligation and need to read a lot of the books I pick up at conventions, and I also always end up grabbing way too many books at conventions. I never read all of them because I don't have the time and something that sounded interesting six months ago doesn't always seem as interesting to me in the moment.
For the first time in over three years, my shelves have the space to breathe during convention season and I don't find myself freaking out and pushing myself to read constantly because I feel I have to. I am going at my own pace, picking up books as they interest me, and only requesting my friends to grab me books that I know I will love (unless the plot goes horribly awry).
Such a mindset is hugely refreshing, like a breath of fresh bookish air. I feel so much less stress and no obligation, and I love it.
I can't say I am as sad about missing convention season as I initially was. I simply find myself staying of twitter for a few mental health days instead of fixating on something I can't have. Where's the fun in that?
I used to have major FOMO when it came to convention season, but I feel like I have finally gotten over that. Are you the same or different? I'd love to hear your thoughts!