Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Signings Part 2: Bibliophiles

Unlike Part One, this post actually doesn't have anything to do with an actual book signing but, like in Part One, about the people who go to them. You don't have to read Part One, but it might help a bit since towards the end of the post I asked "Why?" This is the post where I try to understand the answers to that.
Although I'll probably still end up with a question.

In Part One 1 I went on about the book fans that go to signing with a bagful of the authors books, well really I said a wheelbarrow filled, and asked why they need each book signed.

Well earlier this month when I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; I more or less got an answer. One of what I'm sure is many, of course.

My answer came to me while standing in line for Kelley Armstong, which I didn't expect to be as long as it was. I'd forgotten that she writes adult books also.

So there I am in the back of the line, with a variety of people from teens to older readers, when this guy gets in line behind me and tells me it's his second time in the line. I honestly didn't think much of it.
If anything the only thing going through my mind was "Personal space sir." He was probably around 6'4' and I'm 5'1, at best, so he wasn't just invading my personal space but towering over it.
He then asked how many books I was getting signed and I told him just the one and that I normally only ever get one book signed. He laughed and said he's the type of fan that get's many books signed.

I could have either told him that 1) I've never even read a book by Kelley Armstrong, (I was there and had the time) or 2) I like having just ONE special book signed by an author instead of many.
Instead I just gave him my usual "oh?"

Then he announced to me and a teen girl near by: "You know once you get them signed you can't read them, right?"

WHAT!?
Sir I DID NOT spend 50 dollars on books I have no intention on reading.

Actual response: "Oh?"

Apparently their value will go down if I actually touch the pages.
It'll probably plummet if I smell them. I don't even want to know what would happen if I fell asleep with it.

He then started talking over me to the lady in front of me, because apparently they've seen each other at different signings. Just how many events do you have to go to before that starts happening?
Someone asked her where she got the plastic cover she had on her book, and she started going on about how it's all about protecting the dust jacket if you want to keep the book in perfect condition.

Well duh.
I told her I usually take off the covers, her response was that's when you read them, but if she wants to read them she goes to the library.

And there was my answer!
These people aren't readers they're book collectors; getting books signed and then letting them sit on shelves forgotten and untouched never to be read or enjoyed.
That is; until their grandkids sell them for high prices because they're signed and in such perfect condition.

What is that!?
Other than a somewhat wise investment? I'll admit that.
It just seems kind of a waste of shelf space and time, both for them and the author. What are they going to say? Thanks for buying my book too bad you're not going to actual read it?

And like I said in Part One; authors are signing hundreds of books, and they're only obligated to do so for an hour so let's think about the person at the end of the line also, and it's not like they're just stamping their names they're taking their time with it.
(There are way to many they're and their in that one sentence!)
To me it just seems like asking for a lot when they have to sign 6 plus books for the same person.

I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong I understand it completely but, I don't know, I guess I'm living for now, and not thinking of what might get me some money in 25 years.

I have every intention on reading the six books I got signed, if not once multiple times because I am a re-reader, and their value will never drop in my eyes.


I have to confess something though, I did break my one book rule this time around with Laini Taylor. That's because I bought Dreams of Gods and Monsters there, (of course) but took my copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bones only because I bought it used. My reason for that was that by getting a book I bought used signed it was like I was giving it a new life and a permanent home since it's now personalized. It's basically my foster book.


Second confession: I've read Daughter of Smoke and Bones, bought the third and final book of the trilogy Dreams of Gods and Monsters but do not own and have yet to read the second book Days of Blood and Starlight.

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