Booking Through Thursday: Signatures

Do signed copies excite you? Tempt you? Delight you? Or does it not matter to you?

I’m only really interested in signed books when I’m the one who gets them signed. It’s not having a signed copy that delights me, but the experience of getting them signed and meeting an author I love.

I have two books in my collection that are signed by the author. Last December, Neil Gaiman visited Agnes Scott (because Decatur was too small to put him up anywhere else), and I got a copy of my favorite Neil Gaiman novel, Anansi Boys, signed by him, as well as an opportunity to tell him that I’ve been reading his novels since I was thirteen and I love them all. He was very sweet and thanked me profusely. (Then it started raining and there was a treacherous journey back to the old dorm room.)

The other is Sean Astin’s There and Back Again, the only autobiography I think I have on my bookshelf. I tell this story a lot, because it’s an educational experience for young nerds and convention virgins–always have a fairly normal outfit when you go to the Hall of Fame. It was my second year of Dragon*Con, and the last time I went for only a day, hence the costume. (I now live much closer to the convention site.) He was extremely sweet, I was extremely starstruck, and I was wearing my elf ears. Any attempts to regain my cool were destroyed because Nathan Fillion was sitting right next to him. I was wildly embarrassed at the time, although now I laugh at it and use it as a cautionary tale.

As you can see, the memories of getting the signatures and meeting the authors are worth more to me than the actual signed books (although I certainly love and value them). It’s not merely having something they signed, but interacting with people whose work I love and respect.

6 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Signatures

  1. I love Anansi Boys. If you haven’t treated yourself to the audiobook, do it. Great narration. I don’t care about owning signed books either. I once had a chance to get David Sedaris’s autograph after one of his shows, but the line was sooooo long, and it was a school night, so no signed copy for me.

  2. My response was pretty similar. I care much more about getting the book signed and meeting the author (and other fans) than I do about the signature itself.

  3. Do you mean Decatur, IL, because I live in Naperville. Neil Gaiman came to our town for Naperville Reads, and I have his signed copy of The Graveyard Book. But, I didn’t like that novel much at all, and I’m still trying to figure out why it won the Newbery last year…anyway, I, too, like them best when I’ve had them personally signed.

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