We make holes in teeth!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Youth in Revolt

About a year ago, I read the book Youth in Revolt, by CD Payne. The book is/was excellent. I recommend you read it. I'm not here to talk about the book, however. When I got the book, there were some curious comments on the inside front cover, apparently by people who had read it and passed it on. Someone named Jessica Parker had started this in the hopes that all sorts of people would read it, comment on it, then pass it on. At the end of its long journey, the book would presumably be sent back to the originator. You can read more about the theory here, in an article by Jessica Foster herself:

Buy a book, read it, release it

Great in theory, but here's what happens. Along the way, someone snags the book, never gets around to reading it, then sells it to a used bookseller. Eventually, someone (like me) buys it online for a few bucks, then reads it. Well, this is how it happened, I presume. I ended up with the book, and I didn't find it in a coffee shop or a bus. No, it was for sale online for a few dollars.

I got in touch with Jessica Foster last year, poking her brain about the book and what I should read next. I didn't tell her I had the book at first, instead choosing to beat around the bush in the matter. Eventually I confessed, because the email exchange was going nowhere fast. I thought she clearly had a huge opinion of herself and almost no time to spend answering emails from dopes in New Jersey. So be it.

Anyway, I told her I had the book and was looking for something else to read. She said, in brief, "Try Harry Potter." I told her the book had been sold to a used store along the way, and this seemed to get her goat for about 8 seconds before saying something else dismissive. She never demanded I send her the book, or I release it into the wild. I never got back to her because the email conversation blew. I never had the heart to tell her only 2 or 3 people ever signed and passed on the book. Her dreams as described in the article above might have been dashed, but I didn't have the heart to tell her.

In any event, this is what happens when you set material objects free. They don't come back to you. They get abducted and sold for a small profit, usually to help fund some minor habit like smoking or beer drinking. Come to think of it, I'd be more than happy to trade it for a 6 pack of Dogfish Head.


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