Thursday, October 11, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Live and In-Person

October 11, 2007

btt button

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks:
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Gotten their autograph? How about an author you felt only so-so about, but got their autograph anyway? Like, say, at a book-signing a friend dragged you to? How about stumbling across a book signing or reading and being so captivated, you bought the book?

Strangely, I have not made it part of my life to seek out book signings or even readings. I suspect much of that has to do with this season of life (and the last season): being a parent of young children (and before that, being mostly concerned with where the next band was playing).

The first author I remember hearing was Charles Wright, who came to read at our college. Randy bought his book of poetry The Other Side of the River and had it signed. When I was in graduate school in Iowa, we had several visiting authors do readings. I guess most of them were unmemorable, except for the poet Li-Young Lee. He was absolutely mesmerizing. I could have listened to him read for hours and hours. I bought all of his books of poetry. Of course lots of fellow grad students and professors also did readings and I did buy some of their books, but it's kind of weird to have a fellow student/professor sign a book. Some of these included: Joe Geha, Debra Marquart , Gary Whitehead , Neal Bowers, and many others.

Several years ago we heard Abraham Verghese read at the now defunct Davis-Kidd Bookstore in Knoxville. I had already read his amazing My Own Country, but I didn't think to bring it to be signed. Soon after his reading I read The Tennis Partner, and I enjoyed hearing his voice as I read it. Next month our Book Club is going to hear Kaye Gibbons read at Maryville College. But I don't suppose I'll ask her to sign my library copy of Ellen Foster, which is, of course, our next month's book.

I guess I'm not much of an autograph person. I never had an autograph book or one of those autograph stuffed animals. I never thought to have the kids get autographs as Disney. And all those yearbooks with their myriad signatures are stowed away in boxes somewhere.

No comments: