The Only Major Problem With Going to a Bookseller’s Convention

My right shoulder is, like, incredibly sore from hauling around huge bags of free books.

Pity me, won’t you? Thank you.

Fortunately I brought my minivan with me so I was able to get them all home. But I suspect the minivan got five miles to a gallon on the way back. These are the sacrifices we make for books.

16 Comments on “The Only Major Problem With Going to a Bookseller’s Convention”

  1. Aw, you have it so bad. If you like, I can haul away some of thos free books so they don’t distract you so much!

  2. er.. That was those, not thos. (Note to self: Must proofread).

    Can we edit our comments with your new system?

  3. Managed to delete my previous comment by trying to comment again. WP said that it was a duplicate, and removed both I think.

    But since you’re having such a hard time… I will selflessly volunteer to haul away some of those heavy free books. Wouldn’t want them to distract you from Zoey’s Tale.

  4. You didn’t delete your previous comments; they’re there for all to see. Or at least, I see them.

    As far as I know you can’t edit your comments. However, I can edit mine. Go me!

  5. If you want to be able to edit your comments, the Whateveresque provides that most excellent functionality. :)

    But, does WordPress offer a function to allow us to preview our comments?

    I saw your comments on driving in in Chicago (on By The Way); I could have told you that. You should have come to Columbus instead. We would have loved to have had you at Context.

  6. I see it!! I see the database error!! Oh, wait, that’s a bad thing. Weren’t we all kind of expecting the technology to be way past this sort of thing already?

    And not just WP having these sorts of problems, but the vast stupidity of revealing information like table names and other hacker-helpful stuff when you do throw an error — I thought we “got” not to do that already. I suppose not, though.

  7. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang O.C., the Original Changsta

    Hey, I thought we were calling it

    RAWKTOBERATION!!!

    on account of how the Red Sox are kicking ass.

    Can I get a hell yeah from the Nation?!

  8. > Can I get a hell yeah from the Nation?!

    I’ll be the first one to let out a big hoot, but we have to wait until the Yankees go down first (otherwise we might jinx ourselves).

  9. Ha ha. Well, every year I spend around $150 to ship home all my free books from BookExpo.
    I’m just happy that it’s in my neighborhood next year.

  10. So, what were the best books in the list?

    I never turn down free books, but I think the shelves are beginning to bend from the strain. I’m sure I can get a few more in there.

  11. Well, I had ALMOST as much fun – I went to the big San Francisco Public Library sale. On dollar day. Seeing as how they charged me $101, I’m guessing I got approximately 101 books. (I know how I am at these things. I brought a dolly and empty boxes. No sore shoulders for me.)

    Favorite serendipitous finds: three plays by Vaclav Havel (including Largo Desolato, translation by Tom Stoppard), and The Areas of My Expertise.

    I love the library book sale.

  12. Well, what you need is one of those little mini shopping cart dollys— approximately the size of a dolly, but with a wire basket instead of a flat piece of metal. Very useful and draggable like a rolling suitcase.

    When I worked at a bookstore, our general manager would pick a book (generally by Christopher Moore) that was coming out, and put up a sheet, and then he’d pick up as many spare copies of that book as he could manage for the staff. Because some foolish people would leave their free copies behind on their seats, and well, free book…

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