Guess who started out September in the best way possible!
That’s right. It’s me!
The inaugural BookNet Fest, a book community convention created by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes and Marines of MYNAMEISMARINES, was held September 1-2 in Orlando, FL and I’m so thankful I could attend. I’ll be honest, the biggest thing that convinced me to go was the optional Day 1 trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but I was also excited for the more intimate gathering and the focus on panels.
Needless to say attending was the right decision!
So Day 1 was the HP trip and I would really just like to live in the wizarding areas of those parks. Walking up to Kings Cross and the London buildings was ridiculously exciting and spotting the Knight Bus was an added bonus. Diagon Alley is beyond belief and my eyes could not move fast enough. There’s just so much to freaking see! Being able to taste butterbeer for the first time (it’s gluten free), seeing Celestina Warbeck perform, looking into all the shop windows. It was a dream come true!
Of course I had to catch the train to Hogwarts as it was September 1st after all. It’s a super cool experience and also saved my feet from extra steps in the heat. Hogsmeade and Hogwarts brought more gleeful moments though. I was so distracted by a wizard snowman that I didn’t even notice the castle! The detail in every little thing was just extraordinary and my excitement never diminished. I was able to go on all the different rides and think the Gringotts one may be my favorite. I even got to have a meal at The Three Broomsticks.
My wallet definitely suffered the consequences of my unending HP delight and with some master packing skills I managed to get this all home in one bag.
The BookNet Fest event on Day 2 was the perfect laid back affair to recover. Everything was held in the same area of the hotel with two panel tracks running right next to each other. The morning began with an Opening Keynote from the creators and than there was panels, panels, panels. I attended US & the Industry, On Reviewing, For the Love of YA, a Gameshow, Romance, Sex, & OTPs, and Diversity in the Book Community.
Sam and Marines did such an outstanding job bringing this event to life and it ran so smoothly. Each panel was interesting and informative with wide variety of panelists bringing their own unique perspectives. It was interactive, inviting, and intimate. I had such an amazing time and felt reinvigorated in my book efforts and desire to engage with others.
By far my favorite panel was Diversity in the Book Community. The conversations were real and honest with such emotion behind all of it. It brought to the forefront important discussions that this community is starting to have and needs to continue having. Honestly it could have lasted like two more hours and it still wouldn’t have covered everything.
Overall I had such an amazing time at BookNetFest and HP World! It was the perfect Labor Day weekend trip and I’m so glad I decided to go. It reignited my soul in a lot of ways and I hope to carry this passion through the rest of 2017!
How did you spend your Labor Day? Have you been to Wizarding World Orlando? Gone to any book events?
Let me know in the comments below!