Jimmy Carter Book Signing

30 Mar

Text messages to a friend while I was at Powell’s City of Books today:

Of course the parking lot is full.

I’m in the Whole Foods parking lot. There must be a way out.

I’ve never seen Powell’s this crowded.

This is crazy! A staff member is holding a sign that says “End of Line.”

[A customer commented, “Oh, good, I thought it said ‘End of the World.’”]

Cops in uniforms. The secret service. This is intense.

I ended up in oops the front of the Jimmy Carter line and asked Kevin Sampsell where we purchase books. They’re on a rack by the info desk.

Crap, they’re no longer taking any more in line for the signing, and I just purchased the book.

The line has reached its max and they’re no longer allowing people in the line. The first person who announced it said it depends on timing, and there’s a possibility that they might let more in.

It’s too busy to do it now, but maybe I can return the unsigned book and get a signed one, assuming he signs every copy like most authors. Ugh, I should have come here at noon.

False warning: I got to the end of the line, and they still had plenty of tickets! That stern cashier can bite me.

Oh, my, I’m standing in line in the feminism section. Drool, drool.


After my part of the line stood in the feminism and gender studies aisle for quite a while—with me browsing enthusiastically—the line suddenly moved forward. We wound through many, many aisles of books, following blue lines of tape on the concrete floor. This took place in several rooms and up two staircases. I happened to pause next to a shelf labeled “Jimmy Carter,” which featured books by and about him. At another aisle, I paused by a book called Make Congress Your Bitch, which was about getting Congress to actually represent the people. I don’t know whether I was in the politics section or the humor section.

Up in the Pearl Room, the line continued winding and winding through the stacks. I saw a man in a suit who was obviously a secret serviceman. He eyed people in line, but he didn’t search our bags. Finally, the line approached a line of red-shirted Powell’s staff and a long table, all roped off from customers.

Jimmy Carter sat at the long table and kept signing bright blue books.

The book, by the way, is A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. I handed my books to a Powell’s employee. Several employees passed the books along till Jimmy Carter took them and signed them. Then he passed them to another employee on his right, and several Powell’s employees passed the books down till they returned them to me.

Secret servicemen hovered around not looking particularly secret. Customers stood holding up their cameras (mostly smart phones) inside a blue box taped onto the floor. We were allowed one photo each, and a staff member assured us that Powell’s will have photos online. I stood in the box, zoomed in as far as I could, and got a photo. I then moved on. I paused on a landing, where I took a picture of the big blue sign announcing the book signing.

Even Ursula K. LeGuin didn’t attract this big a crowd. Coming to think of it, I heard about the Suzanne Collins book signing, and I rather have the impression that it was rather similar.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: