Tuesday, 17 June 2008

fingers, signings, and pretty pretty hair



How fitting that on the evening I returned from the publishing orgy known as Book Expo Canada, I found my parcel finally made it to Sydney and a special booklady on the other side of the globe is properly attired for winter with woolly knuckle tattoos that read "book diva". Bless her for thinking it read “book avid” – I guess it does when you’re wearing them and reading upside-down. And are a little hard of thinking.

I did pretty well at Book Expo with only picking up freebies I absolutely was desperate to read. I even put down and left behind books whose covers seduced me when I discovered they were just not my kind of thing. And there were some almighty seductive covers. Not even always the books. I work for a place that gets hundreds of copies of every publisher’s catalogue every week, and I still picked one up just because the cover is so freakin’ beautiful it makes me want to weep.

I almost never get books signed. I don’t get the point. The authors already wrote the books for us, with 60 to 100,000 real meaningful and carefully-crafted words in them, and that's the important bit. I’m not sure what it adds to have them write their names at the front. If I really admire an author, I’d rather just tell ‘em why. What do you have of them, when they have written their names for you? Do you own a bit of their soul? It’s a really weird construct, for my money, the signing of things.

And then, the Yarn Harlot was right there at BEC. So naturally I stood in line and asked her to sign a book for me. I did kind of get to tell ‘er why I admire her, though I was just able to stop short of gushing over how pretty her hair is. But when you have a name that long, signing it over and over must absolutely kill you.

1 comment:

BigSister said...

I'm afraid to say I have on a couple of occasions had the same hard of thinking response to the gloves you made me, that say 'edit this' and I sometimes use when they crank the aircon up too far in the office. They say EDIT THIS - someone thought they said 'sh*t tide' which is not actually even backwards and is not exactly a well known saying. Still if you know the people I work with you would not be surprised. e.g 'are there the same seasons in England as here?'