There are a few authors every reader follows as avidly as the film buff follows an actor or director, or the fan buys tickets for no matter the cost to see their band in concert. You know what I mean, it’s the book that comes out on a certain Tuesday and you’re there at the book store, money in hand as soon as possible to pick up it up. If you’re lucky you’ve got the book set aside waiting impatiently for you, with your name on a yellow sticky. You’ll even bribe someone to get there if possible in case the store runs out. I know I have a history of not even making it out of the parking lot before I’ve got most of it read much to my daughter’s dismay and her constant source of tattle tailing over the years. But on Tuesday I had the opportunity to watch her meet one of her writing idols. So the cheek was turned!
A.J.Jacobs is a writer for Esquire and has written two books about his experiences trying out “new” things: the first was his year reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from beginning to end, The Know-It-All; the second was last year’s bestseller The Year Of Living Biblically. After getting a preview of YEAR at Book Expo, and reading the Advanced Copy, Gwen was hooked. Stalking A.J. she tracked the book release as well as the possible signings in the area. Little did I know the “area” included a trip to Austin for the Texas Book Festival. When Gwen couldn’t go because of a commitment she dare not miss, she deputized her parents to go. We were even briefed on what to say, how to get the book signed and more importantly what NOT to say! Seriously, would I embarrass her with an author?
Fortunately, after a single mishap when I lost her father for over an hour as he was so taken with A.J.’s talk at the Dell Jewish Community Center he had to get his own set of books and forgot to tell me where he was going, we managed to get Gwen her own specially inscribed copy of Year. But on Tuesday night, the stars aligned and Gwen and A.J. met in person. It was a nice moon out as well. And we got pictures. And I did a little wave at A.J. who swore he remembered me (I doubt it, but what the hey!). And the audience loved his story of writing the Year and what he learned and where he’s going in the next adventure, uh, book.
So now I can tell the tale of the fanatic reader and what she’ll go through to see her “man.” Although to be honest, I’ve seen it before. And I’m not ashamed to admit I’m proud of my kids who love reading so much they’ll stand in line for an author and I don’t mind being the one who rushes to the book store at opening to pick up their must-have book. It might begin to make up for the years I made them do it for me *grin*
And maybe it helps my book club forgive me when I get an author confused…as the signing on Monday night with the wrong author of the comics “Maxine.” And that is another story to be told…
DFW Tea Readers Group