Last night, I went to 7th Ave Books, a used book store in Park Slope, and bought a copy of Pete Hamill’s “A Drinking Life.” I want him to sign it when I meet him tonight. Here’s the thing though. It appears as if whoever had a copy of the book before me did a book report on it, because the book is filled with underlined sentences and notes written in the margins. If he notices this, I wonder how it will make him feel to know that someone didn’t want to keep their copy of his book. Do you think he’ll start crying? Well, probably not. It might bother him though. In order for me to want to read a book twice, it has to be really good. That’s because there’s always about fifty more books that I want to read at any given time (I read at least one book a week). Therefore, I end up donating some great books that most people would never even think of donating. However, there are some books that I love so much that I know that I would never ever get rid of them, even if I end up reading them half a dozen times. Authors understand this, so I can see how some of them might get pissed off if someone asked them to sign a used copy of their book. Not only that, but by me buying a copy of “A Drinking Life” from a used book store, that’s $14 that could’ve gone into his pocket. It’s the equivalent of going to a concert where a musician’s CDs are on sale, and saying to him, “Hey, can you autograph my burned copy of your CD?” But unlike his daughter, Pete Hamill seems like a nice guy, and I don’t think he’ll mind. How funny would it be though if, after he notices that I have a used copy of “A Drinking Life,” he hits me in the face with a wine glass? I wouldn’t mind. Not only would I be laughing my ass off at the irony of the situation, but like I said, he’s one of my favorite writers.
November 29, 2005