#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:
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…
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–
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.
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.
I pull out the next book:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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…
Better move on to the next book.
Wait, did I do a Book #6?
Too late now. The numbering has been Published and cannot be corrected. Rachael gets out the next book–and is suddenly engaged again.
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.
“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…”
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.
Soon, the answer arrives:
See? This is why we do this stuff. And for the promise of whatever secrets may lurk in these boxes. Meanwhile, on the floor
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.
Rachael is finally through with Seducing the Boys Club
and pulls out the next book:
“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.
And that’s it. The box is empty. Rachael immediately repurposes it.
I must sign off.
And finally, 24 hours later, I have. I am already late for my next liveblog.