Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Author Meets Audience

Writing in City Journal, Stefan Kanfer on the joys of book tours:

Then there was the bookstore in western Florida. This time, the schedule was much more indulgent. I didn’t have to show up until 4 pm. The audience was large and responsive. I noted, however, that a white-haired gentleman in the last row was fast asleep. No matter how loudly I talked, his low snore punctuated the monologue, discombobulating the speaker and confusing the spectators. When I finished, the store’s owner passed around a microphone so that listeners could ask questions. Suddenly, the somnolent party awoke and demanded to speak. “I didn’t hear a word you said,” he declared, glowering at me. “Everyone else here seems to have followed me,” I pointed out. He rose and shook his bony fist. “Everyone here isn’t 96 years old!” He didn’t buy a book.

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