#russbooks: Day 1

It all happened so fast.

It seems to me that opening up a box of books is something that should be done slowly: savored, with a cup of coffee perhaps. But these are Russ’s books, and I don’t want to get coffee on them, and anyone who has ever been in a meeting with me knows there is a statistically-significant chance of me overturning my coffee without warning or regard for the laws of physics; and not only would I be looking at these books, I’d be taking pictures and doing my first-ever liveblog. So coffee was out of the question.

However, that decision–combined with my sense that I was doing this #russbooks exploration for an audience–made me go a bit too fast. As if I were doing the whole thing for a webcam rather than just using Twitter.

Hmmm, I think almost 24 hours later as I write this blog post, maybe I should go upstairs and see if I can find the webcam Daniel never bothered to take out of the box…yeah, and see if the geriatric machine that occupies my study could run it without keeling over.
Maybe if this month’s sales totals will allow me to finally do that upgrade I’ve needed for lo these many months…but I digress, as usual. We were talking about Russ and his mysterious boxes of books. Let’s see what’s in the first one.

I brought Box #1 into the study, set it down on the floor, took a picture, and posted the first actual liveblog post of the day:

barbarfriendish Magic time… #russbooks

"Books" in RussScrawl

Box #1, labeled in RussScrawl

By this time Rachael had arrived to see what was in The Box.

With great anticipation, I cruelly ripped off the already-crumpled label and peeled back the tape, revealing…


Inside the first Box of #russbooks

Who is this guy? A Classic Author? Which Classic Author did Russ value enough to save and entrust to me? Suddenly I am feeling like the monks in A Canticle for Lebowitz. I pick up the book, open it, and discover–

Bumper Stickers inside Steven Colbert

Bumper Stickers

Russ is a New Yorker now; he no longer owns a car. So I guess he has no place to put these.

(I have bumper stickers on my refrigerator. But this is an overflow-management issue. I need more Bumper Sticker Magnets.)

Curosity and the sense that Russ Fans everywhere are waiting to know more drive me forward: I turn to the interior title page.

Ah. Product Details

What Russ has is the Special First Edition, complete with bookmark-ribbon thing emblazoned “First Edition”. Stephen’s pretty funny, of course, but I have boxes and boxes of books to look through. I’m not committing to this one.

Directly underneath this is Greg Melville’s Greasy Rider. I heard interesting things about this book and the tour, not least from Russ Himself–but I’ve got a box to explore. And a liveblog to keep up. All of Russ’s Fans are waiting.

barbarfriendish Book #1: I am America and So Can You/Stephen Colbert. W bumper stickers inside. Book #2: Greasy Rider/Greg Melville #russbooks

I pull out the next book:

barbarfriendish Oh noes Book #3 is BOOKSELLING FOR DUMMIES! I’m sorry, but this book is clearly FAIL!! (Sorry Zach & Russ…) #russbooks

Bookselling for Dummies: #failbook

Tragic Irony, this is.

I looked at this book in more detail yesterday evening, thinking I might learn something from it…uh, no. Yeah, I’m not a bookseller, but I thought I might learn something about that business… Alas. It is FAIL. Little wonder.

On to the next book:

barbarfriendish Book #4 Jonathon Coe: the rain before it falls. This is a well-executed ARC & will be taken aside for Further Examination… #russbooks

For those of you eagerly awaiting my analysis of ARCs as a species, hang on: I’ll be doing a post on that after I’ve been through all the boxes.

Next up:

barbarfriendish Book #4 Chemistry and Other Stories by Ron Rash. Nicely produced pb. A couple of big page fold-downs here…hmmm, @russmarshalek #russbooks

I try to take a picture of one of the folded-down pages to share with You. Well, I do succeed in taking a picture:

An interior page with a fold-down


barbarfriendish The pic I just took suggests I’m going to have to SCAN the folded-down pages to share them with the twitterverse…anybody care? #russbooks

It’s been almost 24 hours, and no one has indicated that they’re sufficiently motivated to learn which pages Russ folded down, so I will just move on. Thusly:

barbarfriendish Book #5: SIGNED copy of Back to the Garden/Patrice Dickery––no, just checked the interior it’s Patrice DICKEY– cover design fail #russbooks

Suddenly I am struck by my own snarkiness. I like to think I’m a nice person, but I’ve got a streak of something that is decidedly Not Nice.

barbarfriendish IS it just me or is some snarky bitch going through @russmarshalek‘s books on Twitter? #russbooks

Meanwhile Rachael seems to feel that my presentation is not moving along at an appropriate clip, or not delivering sufficient entertainment, or something: she lies down on the floor next to the box for a better view. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not playing to a webcam, after all…

All these books make Rachael tired

Better move on to the next book.

barbarfriendish Book #7 The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson. The cover’s marked “Uncorrected Proof” but no more was done to this ARC #russbooks

Wait, did I do a Book #6?

barbarfriendish Hah, liveblog fail. There was no Book #6 #russbooks

Too late now. The numbering has been Published and cannot be corrected. Rachael gets out the next book–and is suddenly engaged again.

What the HELL? says @rachaelish

barbarfriendish “What the HELL??!” says @rachaelish. Book#8: Seducing the Boys Club Nina Disesa. Signed. #russbooks

This is a moment when it would have been worthwhile to have a webcam running. We spend a couple minutes discussing this book as Rachael looks it over. I even get to look at it for a minute, but soon Rachael is looking at it again.

Rachael investigates Seducing the Boys Club

“Look at this quote!” she says, looking at the blurbs on the back cover. “Mothers should give their daughters a book about how to seduce the boys…”

barbarfriendish @rachaelish can’t get over quote on Book#8: “Mothers should give this book to their daughters”. quote + title=interesting #russbooks

I get out the next book. Rachael is busy with this one.

This next one is intriguing: it’s a bit beat-up, and not from hanging out in this box, where everything else is in fine condition. And there are more turned-down pages in this one.

barbarfriendish Book #9: a somewhat worn copy of Skeletons at the Feast/Chris Bohjalian. Was this book LOVED, I wonder? I spot page turn-downs. #russbooks

barbarfriendish @russmarshalek Do you turn down pages b/c you can’t find a bookmark? Or are those the Good Pages? #russbooks

Soon, the answer arrives:

russmarshalek @barbarfriendish bent pages mean good passages #russbooks

See? This is why we do this stuff. And for the promise of whatever secrets may lurk in these boxes. Meanwhile, on the floor

barbarfriendish @rachaelish is still reading Seducing the Boys Club. Well done, Ms. Disesa. #russbooks

Rachael is still reading Seducing the Boys Club

Ironic, non?

I move on to the next book. It’s so very litfic. And it’s written in present tense, apparently all the way through. A writer working with me would have to have a Damn Good Reason for that choice of tense; it’s practially an automatic disqualification when I’m evaluating a ms. And I see it’s a debut novel…this turns the Snark Generator on again, but I shall spare you the results.

barbarfriendish Book#10 Harry, Revised/Mark Savas. Signed. Written in 3rd/present. Hmm. a debut writer getting away with that intrigues #russbooks

Rachael is finally through with Seducing the Boys Club


and pulls out the next book:

Really, Russ? says Rachael

“Wow, Russ has a lot of awfully girly-seeming books in here,” she observes.

After a couple minutes it’s finally my turn to look.

barbarfriendish Book#11 Wowza. Woman’s World/Graham Rawle. It looks not so much typeset as cut-and-pasted. v. cool #russbooks


And that’s it. The box is empty. Rachael immediately repurposes it.

The Unknown Reader

I must sign off.

barbarfriendish Those are the contents of Box #1: 11 books, all of which @russmarshalek saved for one reason or another, and 2 bumper stickers. #russbooks

Today's #russbooks Menu

barbarfriendish Must go put pictures up…and do the blog post… #russbooks

And finally, 24 hours later, I have. I am already late for my next liveblog.

Back to the beginning of the #russbooks adventure
Next #russbooks installment

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

7 Comments on “#russbooks: Day 1”

  1. ‘kay, so now comes the part where you pick out which commenter gets the books, right? 😉 just kidding, just kidding…

  2. Bookselling for Dummies made me spit up ALMOST on my keyboard. This is hilarious.

  3. The Suss-Man Says:

    I believe that Bookselling for Dummies was given to Russ by the owner of another independent bookstore that used to have several locations in Atlanta, but is no longer in business. My wife and I, former employees of this same independent bookstore, also have copies of this book.

  4. […] and other shenanigans from Barbara Friend Ish « Interruptions in service this week #russbooks: Day 1 » Premiering tomorrow: #russbooks June 1, 2009 I have a Secret […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: