In an effort to avoid a weekend as depressing as last, I took myself out last night. Nothing fancy or overly exciting, just an author reading at Elliot Bay. The reader’s name is Holiday Reinhorn, who, according to some folks in the crowd, is quite popular right now. And I guess that the fact that I’d never heard of her until I read The Stranger this week has little to do with her level of popularity. Anyway, she’d been compared to Denis Jonson and Ray Carver in a review I read, so I figured what the hay.
What got my goat about this little outing of mine was not the lack of parking in Pioneer Square or all the panhandlers (I even gave a guy fifty cents–just because). I wasn’t even bugged by the fact that this was the only thing I could think of to do on a Friday night or by the fact that a couple of years ago Friday nights were very, very different. What did bug me, though, was that 1) the featured text was a book of short stories, none of which were read in their entirety and 2) Holiday had her husband read one of the stories. What’s up with that? The whole thing seemed like a commercial and even though I hadn’t contributed anything to the event, save for a little extra energy just getting my ass out of the house, I felt gyped. Still do, really.
Here’s the thing: If you’re promoting a book of short stories, you ought not read a tiny bit of each one and summarize what you don’t read. The stories sounded like they might be pretty good, but why should I shell out full price for the book now? Save something for the poor schmucks who buy the book to discover on their own. And why not read just one or two stories? What’s wrong with that? And here’s another little tid bit, Ms. Reinhorn: Don’t have your husband read a story we can all read online. In fact, don’t have your husband read at all unless you have a reason (that is, a reason other than being just plain tired or bored or whatever). It’s tacky. We came to see you, not you’re husband. Geez.
So much for leaving the house. From now on, I’m staying in. Period. (Well, except when I have to go out and get coffee and some free wi-fi access.)