Silly Giddy

A brief sidestep from my usual fare. Nothing like an infomercial, right? I did, however, have this experience while traveling.

Since my story "My Parents' Worth" was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People, I've taken up the habit of popping in to bookstores just to see if the book is there. The first time I had the opportunity to do this was a couple of weeks ago in the Atlanta airport. Sure enough, the bookstore had its obligatory two copies, both turned so that the not-so-slender binding was showing. I turned the book around (you're welcome, Chicken Soup). OK, then I bought one of the copies. Give me a break. It was the first time I'd found something I'd written in a bookstore.

The gift shop in the Nashville airport had eight copies. That felt good.

The best feeling, however, came as I was leaving the U.S. (again via Atlanta). The bookshop Simply Books near my gate had the book in the New Releases at the front of the store. If you look closely, you'll see I'm bumping bindings with Dan Brown. Should this make me feel good or bad?

I must be off,


  1. Well done, Chris!

    I've heard tales of first-time authors spying on people in bookshops for hours to see who buys their product. Did such a madness affect you?

    I wouldn't worry about Dan Shite-Pants. The Chicken Soup book is the perfect antidote to his gutless, endless, shoddy cash-in booger festival. There is hope.

  2. it should make you feel good. very good.

  3. it should give you a boner. A big, juicy boner.

  4. It did, Teresa! Well, a medium-sized one. ::blushes::

    Mark, I was going to say all those nasty things about Mr. Brown, but thank you for doing it better than I could have. The DaVinci Crap is the only book in the last 10 years that, upon finishing it (and frequently throughout), I felt dirty for buying into the mass-market hype. The publisher should be slapped...unless they want to publish me; then I'll pretend I loved the book.

  5. Mel, I put out some copies of "Leave Me as I Lessen" in Nashville. I tried to e-mail Heron a picture last night, but for some reason my e-mail system wouldn't upload the picture into the attachment. Will try again today.

  6. Sorry, Mark. I forgot to answer the question. I have not hung around in bookstores waiting to see if someone picks up the book, but I have picked up the book with Mr. Bean-style exaggerated interest, pointing, looking around and making those Hmm-hmm sounds he makes.

  7. You just bought your book? Didn't read it aloud in the bookstore and shout "Sweet Lord, this Chris Allen is a genius! I MUST own this masterpiece!"? Then bother the person at the counter how you can hardly wait to get home, strip naked and read this. I know I would. Plus some extra theatricals.
    Next time, next time.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Yes, next time, uh, except for the stripping naked part. That's admit. I'll keep it in mind, though. Always open to nudity.


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