This is the third year I've been to BEC, and as many people have commented over the past while, it was a reduced version of itself. The vibe was a lot calmer and it was less packed than last year, but I really enjoyed it. There were lots of wonderful new books by some of my most admired authors, like Frances Itani, Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Susan Juby, Lesley Choyce and Helen Oyeyemi. I also encountered some very amusing authors who signed their book for me with great flair; Michael Winter comes to mind. There was quite a poetic splash-out by Brick Books, featuring a table of three poets signing their beautiful new volumes. I ran across a few of my fellow bloggers, too. Another personal benefit of BEC is the yearly meeting with old friends from Montreal over at Vehicule Press and AEALQ. It is such a pleasure to hear what people are occupied with and how things have been going over the past year.
I could only attend one day of the tradeshow this year, so I am sure I missed seeing authors I would've enjoyed on Day 2. Still, I picked up a number of ARCs that I am eagerly devouring one by one, and am being continually amazed at the varied yet wonderful writing of so many people. Even with the recent questioning of the purpose and results of BEC, I can say I had a wonderful day there and hope to be able to experience it again.