is unquestionably the best independent bookstore in New York, in part because it is small and intimate and feels kind of like your apartment, if your apartment was covered floor to ceiling in pretty, well-organized bookshelves. The smallness, however, means that going to see someone read in Word's basement event space is a lot like going to a high school party in your friend's semi-finished basement. And last night, at my book launch and reading, it was like that high school friend's parents were not only out of town, but were ridiculous lushes: we drank seven cases of beer and several bottles of absinthe. I would estimate that I am personally responsible for at least half of that amount, judging from how my head feels like it about to fall off my neck. But whatever, on to the party report!
First, let's talk about boldface names. There were so many authors there it was like the books on the shelves had come to life, like in some trippy Disney movie that gave you nightmares as a child — except cool. Girl Power author Marisa Meltzer, I Don't Care about Your Band author Julie Klausner, Love, Mom author Doree Shafrir, Dear Diary author Lesley Arfin, The Melting Season author Jami Attenberg, The Blonde of the Joke author Bennett Madison, Adderall Diaries author Stephen Elliot, and All the Sad Young Literary Men author Keith Gessen were all there, as was Shoplifting from American Apparel author Tao Lin, who asked me to sign his copy of my book.
"I'm not sure what to write," I said.
"Then just draw a picture of a hamster," Tao said.
So I did, but I had forgotten what hamsters look like, especially tail-wise, and ended up drawing something that looked more like a cat/rat hybrid. This was around the time that Julia Allison walked in with her dog. Or possibly absinthe really does cause hallucinations.
Then I signed some books for people I'd never met. It was my first time doing this, so it was really exciting. I kept just sort of gibbering, "I hope you like it!" One of these people said she was going through a breakup; she, I feel confident, will definitely like the book.
After a quick reading from the book and a Q&A with music blogger Matthew Perpetua, we closed up Word and headed next door to the Pencil Factory to eat sandwiches and drink outside. I left shamefully early, around midnight, but people continued to party til 4am, I am reliably told.
So never let it be said that my book is pointless: it at least caused a handful of awesome (and, let's just be real, bizarrely motley) people to have one hell of a night.