I had to abandon this practice when I launched the blog, because people were constantly wondering if I'd merely given them repurposed review copies. (Which I rarely did, because anything good enough to give was usually something I would want to keep.)
But in these dire economic times, it's essential to support both the publishing industry and independent booksellers. So this year I returned to my old practice, and I did my holiday shopping at Village Books in Pacific Palisades. Did I pay full price for all my books? I did. Did they have everything on hand I hoped to find? They did not. So I chose something else.
If you're a reader of this blog, I probably don't need to sell you on the idea of supporting publishers and bookstores, but sometimes the gap between idea and execution is larger than it should be. So I am asking you all, in a time when publishers are shedding jobs and freezing acquisitions, and already embattled booksellers might not survive the downturn, to convert whatever is on your holiday gift list to books. Books bought from independents. Call it your own publising stimulus plan.
Look, you're going to spend, what, thirty bucks, maybe, on something that probably won't be around next year. Whereas for less than that, you can buy a book that - if you are lucky - will live on its recipient's shelf for years to come. I am hard-pressed to think of any other gift with so high a Lasting Pleasure to Cost Ratio. (What I call the LP:$).
So if you get a book from me this year - and you know who you are - it was bought for full retail at a local independent.
Speaking of Village Books, Tom Hanks will be on hand on December 17 to help the ailing store by signing anything - yes, anything - you buy there.
Finally, as a way of saying thank you to all of you who supported Harry, Revised this year, if you have a copy but couldn't get to a signing, I've been given these handy autograph stickers which can be inserted into the book. Just a drop me an e-mail with your address, and I'll make sure you get one. And if you'd like to give a signed copy of Harry, Revised to that special someone on your holiday list, let me know and I'll send you a sticker for your gift copy as well.
End of Public Service Announcement. A cornucopia of backlogged links await for tomorrow.