September 5th, 2008

What really happens on book tours

Bret Anthony Johnston writes about what really happens on book tours in this funny essay for Powells. He talks about the things you’re given, the people you meet, etc.

Here's part of what he says about the people you meet:
“4. Friends of friends who often say things like "I didn't expect to enjoy myself, but I kind of did!"
5. Book collectors and rare book dealers. The former are lovely and benevolent. The latter can be a tiny bit unctuous. Both only want you to sign your name on the title page of your book. Both sort of adorably freak out if you threaten to write anything more than your name in their books. It's very unlikely that either have read your work.”



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Useless knowledge

I took two terms of “Signed Exact English” in college. Except I think it has fallen out of favor. It's like I learned to speak English with a weird accent. I should have just taken American Sign Language. A lot of the words I know are not quite right, because they are signed with your fingers in the position of the initial letter. Like when you make the sign for "free" you put your fingers in the position of the letter "f." The thing is, I often don’t know the “right” way. I also don't know the correct order of words for ASL, which is different than English.

For “fun” Teen has taught self Braille (sighted Braille, not touch – and did you know that only about 8% of blind people are fluent in Braille) and Morse code. I’m sure that will all come in handy some day. Too bad we’re not on that island in Lost.

How about you? Do you have any useless knowledge?



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