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Apr 6 / Michael

Overheard at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

I went to see my friend Sarah MacLean read from her [addendum: New York Times bestselling!] new book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, at Madame X last night. Not only did it seem like it would be fun but, since I have functionally no romance in my books, I thought it would be good to see how it was done. The price of admission was $5 or one “gently used romance novel.” Trying not to think too hard about that phrase, I ducked into the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on my way. Housing Works is home to many fine, gently used books, none of them, as it turns out, romances…

Volunteer: “Were you the one looking for a Borges novel?”
Me: “No, no: a romance novel.”
Volunteer [bashfully turning over Borges books in his hands]: “Oh.”


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  1. Sarah MacLean / Apr 6 2010

    Awww. Now you know what it feels like to be a romance reader. No fancy bookstores love us. I was so happy you came last night! Can’t wait for your review of Nine Rules! xox

  2. Michael / Apr 6 2010

    Yes, it was a blast—you were so good! As for the review, I have sent a letter via the Royal Mail to the Viscount Olyphant, a royal male, in the hope that he will take on the assignment. He is a man of unquestioned erudition and uncertain character, and so, perfect for the task. I am confident he will do it, though I fear it may cost me a Nine Rules bookmark.

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