Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blogger ate my life: The 50th entry returns and author sightings abound

Edited to Add: This was my fiftieth entry posted on Friday, December 2nd, and then Blogger ate it. Chewed it up into tiny little pieces. I apologize for the now out of order position, Blogger won’t let me edit or move anything either.

It’s my fiftieth entry!

I wanted to do something all special and hallmark-y, but I’m in the middle of editing my paper and my creative coolness left me sometime last night around the fourth book related nightmare.

“How can one have a book related nightmare?” you ask.

Oh so easily.
  • Spend two days locked in a backroom sorting through a huge delayed (thanks to the holiday) shipment of books and trying to figure out what needs to go directly out on the sales floor, what needs to go into its appropriate bin to eventually go out on the sales floor, what needs to be sorted into another box (labeled by genre) to not be looked at again until after Christmas, and what needs to be stripped immediately and thrown away (because I don’t need six copies each of an author’s entire backlist from 2003, especially when they are not even popular in my store. I’m sorry. I just don’t).

  • Add to that several rounds of Returns because the warehouse feels the insane need to send me hardcover editions of books that have already transitioned to paperback months ago and enough sound-making books to register the store as a noise pollution zone.

  • Throw in a dash of ouch-I-didn’t-know-my-muscles-could-ache-like-that from hauling said sorted boxes and returns to their appropriate homes.

  • Mix well with one beer and a cup of exhaustion.

  • Layer into a bed that hasn’t been made in a week.

And Ta-daaaaah, you have dreams about sorting books into boxes only to discover it’s the same damn book, and no one needs eight million copies of John Grisham’s The Testament (really, they don’t), so you have to unpack and start stripping them only to realize that the garbage pile on the cart is too tall to make it out the door and...

(insert scream here followed by tossing and turning and some mumbling)

Rinse and repeat at hour long intervals for the entire night.


But enough about me, let’s talk about the author I titled this entry about. He’s much more interesting (and has far fewer paper cuts).

A couple of days ago (during one of my brief sojourns from the backroom) I was helping a customer when I glimpsed a guy at the Nonfiction New Release table. Nothing too spectacular about that, there are many guys that hang out around that table at any given time, but this guy was wearing a scarf commemorating the cheering section of a local sports team. Not only was I a fan of this local team, but the guy looked kind of familiar. Admittedly I do not go to the games to stare at other fans, I’m all about the cute guys on the field, but something about this guy tugged at my mind.

I continued to ring up customers, watching mystery guy out of the corner of my eye, when it finally hit me. He’s an author! That’s right. He wrote a biography about some famous guy who got around with a lot of famous actresses, was a bodyguard to a prince, and was rumored to have a penis with the same girth as a baseball bat (the top part, not the bottom). Everyone seemed real interested in that penis fact, I remembered.

But then I started to doubt myself. Maybe he’s not the author of the book. Maybe he’s just a friend of the author. Being not so good at remembering faces, it was entirely possible that I’d gotten them mixed up. Besides he was standing around the New Release table when the book had been out since September. If he was the author why hadn’t he come in then?

Still, I was sixty percent sure that this was the guy, but I didn’t want to be an idiot and walk up only to find out it wasn’t. This needed more investigation. I watched him (while still ringing customers, people were very free with their money that day) journey from the table, saunter down the power aisle, and turn…Yes, yes, I was right! He turned down the biography aisle. Any minute he was going to come up with his book and ask if he could sign it. Score one for my powers of observation!

It should be noted that a customer actually remarked at this point that I looked absurdly happy. It’s the little things in life really.

Only he did not appear at the counter with the books. The next thing I know, possible author guy is up at the front of the store looking at the trade table.

Oh no, did we not have his books? Were they not out?

Much mental cussing ensued.

I had to know before he left the store, so I called a coworker up from her Manga heaven and made her help the customers so that I could check the biography section. The biography section, by the way, is alphabetized by the subject of the book, not the author. I could not remember the subject’s name at all. Thankfully the author (for he was indeed the author) decided to help me out by pulling his book out (it had been spined in the section as had everything else because the bio section is packed) and facing it forward over some other books. I flipped to the author’s photo to confirm the author’s identity (‘twas he), and started towards the front of the store. He hadn’t signed the books (I’ve started checking after hearing that some authors secretly sign their books in section), hadn’t done anything except flip one out, and I was confused.

Should I just approach him, and ask him to sign the copies, sighting my knowledge of our local sports craziness as why I recognized him? Should I strike up a convo about the sports team and segue into a “Hey aren’t you…” from there?

While the book hadn’t been a NY Times bestseller, it had gotten a damn good review from PW and I’d heard that the production rights had been optioned by a Hollywood studio, so why the hell hadn’t he signed his books!

Before I could get any answers to my bafflement (and get my books signed), the coworker called me up to the counter to help as she was being overrun by customers. The elusive author slipped away.

So there you go. That’s all I’ve got. For my fiftieth entry you get book nightmares and almost signings, and I get to go back to editing my paper. Fill free to share any thoughts on why my author didn’t sign or your own book nightmares, I’m sure they’ll be much more interesting than mine.


Anonymous said...

Ah, I can finally comment! Blogger has been contrary lately.

Nightmares about books? That's a downer. I suppose you can't deal with the resulting insomnia by reading.... The profession worse for insomnia, probably, would infomercial producer.

Bookseller Chick said...

LMAO. No you can't really deal with the resulting insomnia by reading, causes the shakes. But I think you're right about the infomercial producer. Poor guys.

Kira said...

Maybe he was just shy...or didn't know you'd want them signed? Maybe he saw you were busy and didn't want to be presumptious...or had been turned down before.

Michele said...

Oooh, what a shame he left before you could corner him.

Bet if you had said something, it might have flattered his ego, then things would have been different.

Now, it is an "I wonder" moment where you can write your own story and ending to.

Pretty good entry for a 50th!!!
Good read.

Bookseller Chick said...

Good points, all of them.I'm not sure if he's shy, Kira, I've seen the guy lead a whole cheering section in cussing out the opposing team, but I'm sure it is different when it comes to a person's writing.

Michelle, who knows? He might come back in. Or someone might tell him about the blog (we have mutual friends). We'll see!