How to Go to a Book Reading

The crowd the last time
The crowd the last time
Ahead of my April 20 reading in Lafayette, Louisiana, I thought I’d offer some ground rules for attending one of these things. After all, not everyone’s been to one. And I’m hoping since Bacon and Egg Man is my second book, I’ll get all those people from the first one and then some.

Turns out, someone has already written such a guide. Me. A few years back. So, in an effort to protect the environment, allow me to recycle.

Please, note, Louisiana people: LAST TIME I HELD A READING AT THIS LOCATION, THE SAINTS BEAT THE VIKINGS IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP THAT WEEKEND AND WENT ON TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL. I’m not saying, I’m good luck, but I AM saying one of you might win the Powerball on April 20.

Believe it or not, a reading and book signing can be as exciting as the Saints winning the Super Bowl (not really) and this may cause you to become confused. So I thought I’d make like Jersey Shore and tell you about the situation.

Basic ground rules.

BaconEggPublishedCover No shirt, no shoes, no service. (But other than that, no one cares what you wear. It’s Saturday, wear what you want.)

DON’T get together with 14 of your friends and paint the letters necessary to spell out Bacon and Egg Man on your chests.

But DO bring friends.

DO bring friends who haven’t heard of the book or haven’t bought the book. Barnes & Noble would like to sell books.

DO show up early and buy a copy from Barnes & Noble if you don’t already have one.

If you are a teacher at a local university, DO offer extra credit to your students to attend.

DON’T just take a copy off the Barnes & Noble table, have me sign it and then walk out the store. They will gang tackle you and haul you off to jail.

While I’m reading, DO pretend to be extremely fascinated. There won’t be cue cards telling you when to laugh or cry, so you’ll have to figure out the appropriate moments for such behavior.

DON’T boo or hiss.

Sometimes, there is a Q&A session after the reading. DON’T ask me about my personal life, who that one character was really based on, if I know the way to San Jose and what kind of moron came up with the crawfish etouffee recipe in the back of the last book.

DO feel free to ask questions about The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival. (This is assuming that I remember to take questions this time. I was so overwhelmed by the crowd last time — and that, later that day, I was planning on telling my parents I was getting divorced — that I completely forgot!)

DON’T ask a three minute question that isn’t a question but really is just a way to show off how smart you are. I’m there to show off how smart I am, and I don’t need the competition!

While I’m signing, DO feel free to tell me the correct way to spell your name. Even if it’s Bob. You’d be surprised and how bad my spelling can be sometimes.

DON’T cut the line just because you think you know me. Chances are, most people there will know me. And my cousins from Ville Platte WILL beat you like a red-headed stepchild.

DO forward details about the event (or this email) to everyone you know.

Can’t wait to see yall.

Ken Wheaton reading and signing
Barnes & Noble, Lafayette, La.
Saturday April 20
Noon to 2 p.m.
There will be music after the signing. Feel free to stick around.

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