6 reasons BookCon 2016 will blow your mind

Three words: limited-edition covers.

If a perfect Saturday for you means getting lost in a new hardcover and meeting up later with friends to discuss it, then BookCon, which takes over McCormick Place on May 14, will be your most perfect Saturday ever.

You'll dive into pages, but they'll be from a free book you are among the first on the planet to read. You can talk about it not only with friends, but with the author, plus 10,000 or so other potential pals who all live, breathe and devour books just like you. The excitement is palpable and the energy electric as you discover new things to do, see and read at every turn.

Truly the ultimate celebration of books, BookCon brings your favorite stories to life in fun, inspiring and really cool ways. Here's what's in store for you at this once-in-a-lifetime event.

1. Get your hands on new books and intel before anyone else
Publishers come to the Show Floor armed with loads of advanced reader copies (ARCs) to give out. Last year, for example, fans were beyond psyched when Little, Brown brought ARCs of "Lair of Dreams" by Libba Bray, the long-anticipated sequel to "The Diviners." You can also snag an exclusive sample chapter or galley or even learn about the next installment of a must-read series – publishers also use BookCon to announce what's on the horizon from big-name authors. Each booth is a treasure trove of reading gold; it's not a matter of if, but when you find your next obsession-worthy book, writer, series or genre.

2. It's all fun and games
You'll do more than browse booths on the Show Floor. Exhibitors set up games and activities like spin-to-win wheels, trivia, photo booths and even small crafts. The prizes: Books, of course. A huge, enthusiastic crowd adds to the fun, festival-like vibe.

3. You'll leave with an impressive haul of freebies

Tip: Clear space on your bulletin board, bookshelves and desk before hitting up BookCon. Aside from books (and lots of 'em), you'll take home tote bags, pins, posters, stickers and other swag from Exhibitors. Expect free stuff when you buy books and other merchandise, too. Publishers offer incredible show specials, like buy-one-get-one-free deals, discounts and more.

4. Buy stuff you can't find anywhere else

Three words: limited-edition covers.

5. Meet and see your favorite authors and Hollywood celebrities in new ways

Yep, you might just bump into an author you've been dying to meet on your way into the restroom, which happened last year to two bloggers who unexpectedly found themselves face-to-face with Colleen Hoover. But with Q&As, meet and greets, in-booth photo ops, signings and more, there are countless ways to connect with the writers on your radar. Meanwhile, panel discussions show you a side of them you might not get during one-on-ones, like a goofy sense of humor or how nervous they get when sharing a stage with their favorite storytellers.

6. Surprises you can't imagine

BookCon organizers keep some of the best activities under wraps until you arrive. Last year, for instance, fans at the "Paper Towns" panel got an exclusive sneak peek of the movie brought to them by actor Nat Wolff himself.

Overall, there's no way to be prepared for the energy of the crowd, the awesomeness of the authors, guests and panels and the fun and wall-to-wall books on the Show Floor. Bottom line: BookCon is as exciting and holds as many surprises as "The Lunar Chronicles" – or whichever new series is keeping you up late at night.

 

--Tribune Content Solutions for BookCon

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