Last weekend I went back to GR where I had the good fortune to participate in the "Holiday Home Tour and Marketplace," a first-time event organized by the Northview Senior Citizens. A young family had donated the use of their home for the event, so a bunch of local crafters and artists decorated the space with their wares. I was stationed at their dining room table for 14 hours over two days, selling and signing copies of The Woodcutter and The Most Beautiful Tree. It ended-up being a pretty successful experience for me, lots of books sold and lots of word gotten-out. I got to see some familiar faces and briefly catch-up with some friends' mums. Plus, I was surrounded by my key demographic: females 60+ years old.
There was one thing that kinda struck me as odd. People would approach my little display and I'd invite them to take a postcard or flip through the book if they so wished. Some would ask questions, most would pick up a book and check it out, and a handful would read the book cover to cover. The thing that got me, was that some people would stand in front of me, read the entire book, say something like "Aww, what a sweet story," and then wander off. To me that seemed...not overly classy. Now, I go to the grocery store and try samples without buying things, I steal stuff from the farmer's market when the farmers aren't looking, as a kid I would read comics off the stand at the comic shop and not buy them...so is this behavior any different? Maybe I've been doing the same thing, but am only aware of it now because I'm on the other side of the table. To quote Omar from "The Wire":
"It's all in the game."
Ps - I was kidding about the farmers market :)