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BookExpo survival tips

Herewith some handy advice for first-timers at the BookExpo Canada convention, and perhaps a refresher for show veterans.

  • Plan your getaway: the St. Andrew subway station (King and University) is slightly closer to the convention centre than Union Station.
  • Joking about the security at the entrance probably won’t earn you a full-body cavity search, but better safe than sorry.
  • The chip trucks in front of convention centre? Once a day, max. There’s actual healthy food across the street in the food court.
  • There are clean and relatively untrafficked bathrooms in the building, but their location is a closely guarded Q&Q secret.
  • ARC grabbers: Don’t be a greedyguts. Exhibitors: Don’t get huffy; you want them read, don’t you?
  • Remember: even though there’s no LongPen booth this year, Margaret Atwood is always watching.
  • Once you’ve seen one of the film-adaptation trailers, move on – there’s no feature to follow.
  • If a conventioneer is not displaying his or her name badge, “Hey buddy” will do as a greeting. “Hey baby” is not encouraged.
  • Some of the author breakfasts and lunches are open to the public this year, so please keep the “death of Canadian publishing/bookselling” talk to a minimum – we don’t want to freak out the civilians.
  • Q&Q always welcomes feedback – positive and negative – but if you have any urgent criticism and you can’t find us on the show floor, the statue of Glenn Gould across the street is always a sympathetic listener.
  • Beer before wine, everything’s fine; beer before liquor, never been sicker.
  • Know your beards: Stan Bevington runs Coach House; Frans Donker owns Book City; Graeme Gibson is an author; Doug Gibson is with M&S; Nick Pashley runs the U of T Bookstore trade section (though he’s retiring); Richard Bachmann is this year’s Jack winner.
  • Lifting display copies is always wrong, but it may be slightly less wrong at 3:55 p.m. on Monday.
  • What happens at BookExpo rarely stays at BookExpo.