30 May 08 | Chad W. Post

BEA—at least the exhibition hall part of it—hasn’t even started yet and I’m already dehydrated and losing my voice. And I realize that when I drink, I spend way too much time talking about the recent New Yorker on hang overs. But anyway.

Thursday is BEA’s educational day. So throughout the day there were various sessions for booksellers and publishers. Of course the publisher panels were at the Convention Center in Downtown L.A. (which ain’t all that) and had titles like, “How to Succeed in Publishing Using LinkedIn.” (Well, yes, OK. Actually most sounded much more interesting and focussed on eBook issues. I just like the idea of people in a room taking LinkedIn seriously as a publishing tool. “It’s all about the network.”)

The bookseller sessions were at the ABA Hotel out at Hollywood and Vine, which is a bit more touristic and glitzy than Downtown L.A. (Although there’s no Standard rooftop bar over there . . .) There is a big difference between the vibe over at the ABA Hotel and the life-sucking sense of desperation that pervades the Ritz-Milner where am. (One funny thing about this hotel is that on their big sign outside, the word “Ritz” is tiny and the word “Milner,” huge. Which is a marketing mistake.) I attended the bookseller lunch yesterday where Amy Goodman spoke about her new book Standing Up To the Madness, which sounded pretty good. (The bit about the Connecticut librarians challenging the U.S. government was really interesting.) She’s got a particular storytelling style that’s hard to describe, but relatively fun to listen to.

I was over there with Karl Pohrt of Shaman Drum, who’s writing a very comprehensive and interesting report on BEA at his blog. The first post is about Why I Love BookExpo and the second features a Prayer for Britney and a great pic of Karl . . .

Last night was the RTW/Bookforum party, which went really well. Very cool people there, such as Scott Esposito, Ron Hogan, Peter Mayer, Martin Riker, Christie Hall, Lynn Andriani, Alane Mason, Morgan Entrekin, Emily Cook, Michael Reynolds, and many, many more. Tim O’Sullivan from Bookforum then took over as chauffeur and brought a slew of us to the Chateau Marmont for the D.A.P./Artforum party featuring Matt Groening and Paul Reubens. I saw Pee Wee right when I got there, and wanted to say something, but wasn’t sure how to break the ice . . . “Hey man, I used to watch Pee Wee’s Big Adventure every Saturday”? We also passed Mike Myers on the way in, and believe that one of the New Kids on the Block (er, NKOTB, excuse me) was at the event as well. . . .

The best things about the Chateau party—in order—were 1) the view of L.A. from the balcony, 2) the fact that Steve Erickson though that Jim Morrison probably danced naked on that same balcony, and 3) that they had to call an ambulance for some woman sprawled out on the floor as we all left to get tacos. That sort of debauchery is generally not a part of BEA . . .

Off to the hall . . .

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