Trade shows. They were invented for nerds. Glorified Shriners conventions (My apologies to all Shriners reading this. You do fine work and I love your fezzes and little motorcycles). Still, I have been known to waddle down many a trade show aisle, throwing my business card into various fish bowls, hoping to win…oh, what’s the hot swag this year…iPods? Yeah, this year an iPod. It seems only yesterday that I was hoping to win an 8-track player to go in my cool AMC Pacer.

This year I am a book nerd. This year I go to Book Expo America (BEA) at the Javits Center in NYC, a place where I have attended numerous other trade shows in my previous lives.

But this one looks to be big. Oh my, but it appears big. This will be my first one and I promise to blog some more about it once I get there (May 31 to June 3), but man, simply judging by the pre-hype (read: utter volume of stuff in my real and electronic mailboxes) this may even eclipse the Pez Dispenser Conclave of 1988. Everyone who’s anyone (shameless excuse for a plug — check out their website) will be there. Think of your favorite author and yep, they’ll be there (picking a dead author as your favorite is cheating). Book publishers you’ve never even heard of, wacky book accessories, and even wackier ways of reaching readers (such as blogging) will be out on parade.

I will probably show my fanboy side and hit a lot of autograph sessions (no, unfortunately, I will not be there signing FOURTH HOUSE). I may skip most of the seminars and lectures (“Movable Type: Has the Experiment Worked?”). Mostly, though, I expect to be overwhelmed.

Note to self: Wear comfortable shoes.