Four Things I Learned at Book Con

In honor of the release of Mindy Kaling’s new book, Why Not Me? today,  here’s a recap of my trip to see her at Book Con in New York this past May.

I’d never been to a “Con” before,  but that all changed this past May. My “Con” of choice? Book Con, which is an extension of Book Expo America and has exhibits from publishers big and small as well as panels from authors. Book Con was quite a learning experience. Here are four things I learned:

1) “Con” means standing in long lines for long periods of time. I spent most of my day on some sort of line: the line outside the Javits Center before the doors open, the line to get wristbands for the panels, the lines to get into the panels, the line to the ladies’ room (because there were more females than males there), the line to buy books, and the line to have a book signed. When I walked around on the show floor, I got onto lines and had no idea what was at the end of them. But all of the line waiting proved to be worth it. (Side note: I learned the hard way that line buddies are imperative because they can hold your place in the panel line while you get in the restroom line.)


Photo by Jen Thompson

2) Mindy Kaling has very rabid fans. I was just excited as everyone else on line to get inside to see Mindy and B.J. Novak (and in all honesty, to sit down because I had been on my feet for hours). I know there was much love for Mindy, but I wasn’t prepared for the rush when the doors opened. Everyone started running for the door. A few uncool people tried to jump the barriers. I ended up with a pretty good seat, and she proved yet again that I want to be her when I grow up (even though she’s about 10 years younger than me).

3) The future looks bright. A large percentage of the Book Con attendees were pre-teens and teens (and their parents) there to see John Green and Rainbow Rowell and so many other YA authors I’d never heard of. And they’d read all their books. Multiple times. That’s cool.

Nick and friends

Photo by Jen Thompson

4) Nick Offerman is awesome. He writes awesome books and was awesome enough to talk about them. And he brought his awesome friends (John Hodgman and Paul Rudd) with him. And he has an awesome laugh. And he sang awesome songs about his wife (who is also pretty awesome). And he was awesome enough to sign my book. It was awesome.