I like books. A lot. So I go to book readings whenever a good one pops up in the neighborhood.
Now book signings have straightforward protocols. You find a seat. You listen to the author talk about his book. Then you buy a copy, stand in line, and get 14.8 seconds with the author while he scrawls your name in there – make sure you have the yellow sticky note lest ‘Ali’ become ‘Holly’ – and autographs it.
Considering how authors create some of the longest-lasting artifacts of a culture, hey, they deserve to have groupies. And it’s fun to be a little starstruck by Michael Chabon, James Watson or Oliver Sacks. And it’s not like these people get recognized on the street, so it must be fun for them to feel like a celebrity for a half hour, until they walk out of Barnes & Noble bookstore back into relative anonymity.
But let’s make things clear here: when you’re the autograph-seeker, you’re in the position of the (more…)