Just an Update

Jack and I have talked it over, and we figure this blog should run Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Jack will be handling Wednesdays. I enjoy writing the blogs, and it’s so nice to hear from people who like reading them. But the shop is getting messy while we putter at the computer…..

Today, just for fun, I’m rerunning a post that elicited the most comments (and likes) to date. It’s also really snarky, so it’s good for Christmas. Teehee.

DEAR JAMES PATTERSON (June 26)

Dear Mr. Patterson,

I’m sure your mom loves you; probably you’re a nice man who is good to dogs and small children, and you try not to run over any manatee in your private pontoon boat near your inlet coastal home.

But frankly, dude, I am so over you.

My husband and I run a used bookstore, and not a week passes that one of three things doesn’t happen:

(Sorry, did you follow that okay? I’ve read a couple of your books, so understand that you prefer simple syntax.)

1)      The door opens and someone staggers in bearing a box full of battered mystery and thriller paperbacks; about 1/3 of them are yours. The others will be Mary Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, or Patricia Cornwall. (Not that your private life is any of our business, mind.) The person trading these in will dump them on the table and head straight for classics, waving a dismissive hand behind him- or herself. “These aren’t mine; a friend was moving and said I could take them. Never read trash like that. Have you got any Hemingway First Editions?”

2)      The door opens and a customer comes in asking for you (your books, I mean; we all know you don’t get to Southwest Virginia very often.) I point out the shelf you share with John Grisham (again, your private life is your own) where we now stash you for $4 a paperback, $6 a hardback; it just saves time, not having to price you every day. The person scans quickly, then frowns. “These are old. I want the newest one. Why don’t you have it if you have all these?”

3)      The phone rings and someone offers to sell us “a really valuable set of books.” Three times in five, sir, they are talking about an entire hardback collection of you. We explain that we don’t buy books for cash, and they become irate. “This is a really popular author! Everybody reads him!” Yes, we know. We have a growing stack of this popular author’s older hardbacks creeping up the wall in one corner, because they outgrew that Grisham/Patterson shelf. One day some of our foster kittens were playing nearby, and the pile collapsed. You just missed committing multiple felinicides, James me lad. Wouldn’t that have made you feel terrible?

So, Mr. Patterson, we just want you to know–and no hard feelings–that we kind of hate you. Nothing personal, but you make us feel like book pimps instead of erudite scholars. Plus, your customers are so … loyal. We suggest a Kava, plead with them to try a Jance, lead them to Scottoline, even beg them to consider Hillerman or Stabenow. We extol variety as the spice of life.

Nothing works. It’s your spiciness they crave, Mr. P, you who have filled used bookstores everywhere with your 1,2,3, nursery rhyme titles, with your “same-plot-different-characters” smoke, mirrors, and adverbs routine. You are giving the readers exactly what they want.

{Sigh}. And that’s why we hate you.  So now you know, and I hope you can still sleep at night, riddled with all that guilt.

Sincerely, Wendy and Jack, proprietors, Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books

P.S. Please do not send any of those men who read your novels professionally for ideas, to rub us out. We are small town people and would have no defense. Thank you.

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, book reviews, humor, publishing, small town USA

4 responses to “Just an Update

  1. nanka

    Priceless! We met you recently at Left Bank Books in St. Louis. Greatly enjoyed the evening and your book. And now your blog. Thank you.

  2. John Kues

    I liked some of the Alex Cross books in the beginning, but when the plot twists became too absurd I just got mad, and said never again! I mean, when the ‘FBI bigwig & friend of Alex’s” turns out to be behind the serial killer (s?), it was just too much!!!!!!!!

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