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Posted on February 13, 2011

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I dreamt last night that I was selling Quale Press books at a bookfair. And I was selling books like they were hotcakes. No sooner would I write up one order, but there’d be someone else waving a book in hand, wanting to buy it. Pretty soon, I could not keep up and there was a line going out the door. Everyone was clamoring for books. Books, books and more books. When I’d run out of a title, I’d look under the table and there, like the miracle of the loaves and fishes, I’d find more copies. Endless replenishment.

As I filled orders, I reflected that these even though these book buyers were of all sorts, they all had in common a desire to have that book, or those books, on their faces. It did not matter how long they had to wait: they just had to get a copy into their hands.

And even though I was madly rushing to keep up with the line, I managed to follow these buyers after they had purchased their book, for they all milled around the hall where the table was. Once the book was in their hands, they would start reading. I could see scowls develop on some — evidence of being irked or angered. On others I could discern bewilderment, as if they had entered a world where nothing made sense, or maybe one where all things were set upside down or inside out. Yet others looked like they were entertaining the rapture — gone forever in an instant.

It was a long day, but finally by nightfall I had caught up. As I rang up the last book buyer I could finally sense a great wave of exhaustion come over me. It would be good to sit or lie down, I thought. And I instinctively reached for a book, but there were none left at the table, nor were there any sprung to life underneath it. But before I could give in to disconsolation, someone approached the table, and reached across it to grasp my wrist to gain my attention. Sincerity and earnestness were written on this person’s face. Before I could react and instinctively withdraw my hand, the person waved a book that was very familiar to me and said, “Thank you for publishing this book. I’m not the same for reading it.” And I heard another voice say, “Yes, thank you,” as another person laid a book I had never seen before in the palm of my hand that was in the other’s grasp. “Please take this one in gratitude and read it.”

And then done.

A publisher’s wet dream.

 

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