A) protect the author from getting mobbed too early, or
B) protect the author from the fact that no one has shown up for the reading.
Among the stacks of galleys and paper cups full of day-old coffee, we sign the preorders and lose heart for what is to come.
But everything is different at Powell's. At Powell's they take you to the glassed-in Rare Book Room, a locked room filled with the most desirable treasures in the store — signed first editions and out-of-print wonders. It is a marvel of bibliomania, and it's also smart business. I can't speak for other authors, but I become a serious spendthrift on my book tours. I am lonely and exhausted. Items that I would never dream of buying at home become things I deserve when on tour, which is how I happened to buy a first edition of Dare Wright's dark and depressing masterpiece, The Lonely Doll. I saw it there on a low shelf after I ...