Recently I decided to undertake the task of cataloging all of our books. I’ve created one big spreadsheet and began listing them. I’m taking my time doing this and I’m on about book 327 or so. Part way through this I realized if I put it on Google Docs than I’d have access to the list wherever I go.
I’ve accumulated more than a few doubles because I wasn’t sure if I owned a specific book. It would happen something like this:
(Inside a thrift store I slowly search the bookshelves. I spot something interesting. I peer around and creep closer. When old person comes up to the books I shove them down and kick them to make sure they can’t grab the book. I pick it up.)
Me: Damn this is only 50 cents! Oh wait do I have this? I can’t remember I don’t think I do. I’m not sure though.
Old person on floor: I think I broke my hip.
Me: Shut up! (Kick them.) Shit it’s only 50 cents and I don’t think I have it. Maybe Sillie will know…no she’s not going to know…I can’t not buy it…what if I don’t have it…you know?
Broken hip: I’m in so much pain.
Me: It’s always about you!
(Stepping on their spine I walk past them.)
Then I get home and see I do own the book.
“Damn you thrift store and your alluring 50 cent book siren song you’ve bashed my ship along your rocky walls once again!”
AnyFakeViolenceAgainstOldPeople as I was cataloging the books I came across my copy of Richard Bachman’s The Regulators. Many of you may know this actually a book written by Stephen King. Now King is probably my favorite modern day writer. I’ve read every one of his books, and when I was young he inspired/influenced my writing.
I flipped open the book and admired the autograph in it.
Why did I get a book he wrote under a different name signed? Well, it was the book I was reading at the time or perhaps was literally just purchased.
(This happened way back like in 1997 so let the fuzzy details stay that way!)
If I was to do it over I’d probably get The Stand or The Gunslinger which are my favorites.
Stephen King (along with it seems a billion other writers) formed a rock band named The Rock Bottom Remainders. I mean this is the list of authors who’ve played in the band at some point:
Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Heimel, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles
Well it turned out they were playing the Miami Book Fair and would include Dave Barry (hilarious) and King. My sister Lisa who is oft the catalyst of my good times took me. I brought (or bought??) the book with the hopes of being able to grab an autograph. They played (and you know were decent for authors who wish they were rockers.) and then he disappeared into the back.
A large crowd lined the barrier and bulged. He reemerged and began signing books. After being pushed over to the crowd I waited and waited. Finally he made his way to me and bam Stephen Mother fucking King stood in front of me.
Now these days I’ve met a bunch of people and writers that I admire. I’ve spent time with some and talked and asked questions and it was fun. This however went more like this:
STEPHEN KING is standing in front of me. Angels were probably singing and I believe there was a bright aura shining around him. He grabs my book.
King: Hey buddy what’s your name?
King: Who would you like me to sign it to?
My sister is poking me in the back at this point.
Me: Oh uh…uh..uh..James.
(He signs and hands it back.)