One of the most overwhelming things about Book Expo America, for confirmed book-hoarders like me, is the sheer volume of free books available. Often, you need to attend a signing or event in order to get a copy, or stalk a publisher’s booth until a fresh stack is set out, but it’s mind-blowing just how many advance reader copies (ARCs) can be accumulated at the show, if you put your mind to it and do the legwork.

That said, it behooves the book-lover to show some caution and restraint when collecting ARCs, if only to prevent torn bag straps and aching back muscles! In addition, working for a publisher has given me some painful insight into how expensive ARCs can be to produce and distribute. Although I couldn’t completely resist, I did restrain myself to picking up books relevant to my professional interests (middle grade and young adult fiction), along with a few titles for reviewer friends I thought might be interested.

Book Expo America haul

Here’s what I wound up with! (Click through for a larger image).

Bottom row: Rachel Cohn’s BETA, Raina Telgemeier’s DRAMA, Kazu Kibuishi’s AMULET: BOOK 5, Tracy & Laura Hickman’s EVENTIDE, Katherine Marsh’s JEPP, WHO DEFIED THE STARS

Second row: Curtis Jobling’s WEREWORLD: RISE OF THE WOLF, Maureen McGowan’s DEVIANTS, Patrick Carman’s 3 BELOW, Sarwat Chadda’s THE SAVAGE FORTRESS, W.H. Beck’s MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT, Charles Gilman’s PROFESSOR GARGOYLE

Third row: Tom Pollock’s THE CITY’S SON, Maggie Stiefvater’s THE RAVEN BOYS, Sharon Cameron’s THE DARK UNWINDING, Jeff Hirsch’s MAGISTERIUM, Ben McCool’s CHOKE & PIGS, Charles Soule’s 27: SECOND SET

Top row: Stack of books for other people, Laini Taylor’s DAUGHTERS OF SMOKE AND BONE, Katie Locks’ GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

There’s an unspoken contract that comes with advance copies: publishers distribute them to drum up interest in a book and spread the word, so if you like an arc, you should let people know. Ideally lots and lots of people. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be posting reviews of my favorite books from this haul, and probably doing a couple of giveaways as well. Which means if there’s a particular ARC in this post you’re interested in reading yourself, now would be a good time to let me know!