What's one thing that anyone in the book industry needs (besides books, that is): tote bags!!
And BEA is the best place to get many different kinds of tote bags specifically made to carry many many books. Sadly, I was pretty much chained to a booth to a whole time and could not roam around the floor to pick up one tote bag after another. The best tote bag I saw going around said: Will Work for Books (I think that's a wry shot at the book industry salaries).
While I did not get a chance to pick up many tote bags (although I did make one very quick trip to the Oxford University booth to pick up an Oxford English Dictionary tote bag. I must express my inner-geekiness!) I had many wonderful conversations with all sorts of industry people from those in publishing to bookstore people as well as some book reviewers.
Books are one reason to be in the book industry. The other reason are the people. Some of the smartest, nicest, and most interesting people are in the book industry (and I am lucky enough to know the best ones!). Plus, I am convinced that this industry is the one with the best conversations. I am all about the conversation.