Sunday, December 21, 2008

True Believer

We all went to Davis-Kidd Booksellers today to get out of the house and do a bit more Christmas shopping. And to find out what 29-degrees feels like.

Davis-Kidd has a great area for kids and I grabbed a book and sat there with everyone watching my kids, as well as several other plague-infested children, run around. There was a kid with a glistening nose and upper lip having a grand time playing alongside my own little typhoid-riddled girl.

But it's that time of year, so what are you going to do? I don't know, and neither did the kid in the t-shirt with his name, or a name, printed across the chest. Yes, Frank and I were at a loss for how to keep the germs at bay.

There's no fighting it. My only advice to you is to not purchase any books from the children's section of Davis-Kidd. If you do, boil them before reading.

It was while sitting there among the Jack-in-the-Boxes, pop-up books and phlegm that I learned that Nick Hornby will no longer be penning the column "Stuff I've Been Reading" for the Believer magazine. This column is a kind of book diary where Hornby writes about books he's bought, books he's read, books he hasn't read and why he has or hasn't read them. It's smart and funny and the writing of it must be, without a doubt, the greatest job ever.

So, since the column has no author now, I'm officially throwing my name into the hat. If there is a hat. Believer magazine, if you're reading this, give me a call, or an e-mail, and let's talk. I'd be thrilled to write for your magazine about books and bookish things. I write now and I consider myself funny. At times. For more money, I could be funnier. I could read more and write longer. I don't know what you paid Hornby, but I'd be willing to take a little less, as I've not (yet) had a novel published, or won any awards. Or had any novels adapted into movies. Or become friends with Sarah Vowell.

So, let's say you're paying him 150,000 pounds (Nick Hornby is British and bald). I'd be willing to go less. Say, 110,000 pounds. I'm no good with weight conversions, but what is that? $300 per column? That seems fair.

Anway, you think about it, I hate to see the Believer caught in a lurch like that. Meanwhile, I'll be over here in the children's section. Just Frank and me, awaiting your call with covered mouths and anti-bacterial-soaked hands.