Let's Talk About It: Convention Season

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!


  1. I'm a bit different. I don't feel that huge sense of obligation to read or review the books I pick up from BEA. For my own sanity and respect to other convention goers, I only pick up books I KNOW I want to read (resulting in usually 20-25 books, which is fairly modest compared to other people lol). I'm pretty picky. So I usually do read a big chunk of the books. But I don't really feel a huge sense of obligation, particularly when compared to requesting a book directly from a publisher -- then I DO feel a huge obligation.

    So if I'm unable to attend then I mostly just feel pretty sad and jealous of the stuff I see on Twitter. But I've been very fortunate enough to be able to attend BEA every year since I started book blogging, except one (my first year). And when I'm able to attend BEA, I don't feel sad about not attending ALA since I feel like I've already had my "turn", if you know what I mean.

  2. I love going to conventions! But, like you, it's mostly to see people I adore and spend time with them too. I'm a little sad I didn't get to go to BEA this year (and so happy it'll be back next year and I can be there), but I do consider myself fortunate to have been able to do ALA Midwinter and to be going to a few days of NYCC! All in all, I don't really get FOMO about the actual convention BUT I do have FOMO about the friends who will be going ;)