January 15, 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

My mom has convinced me that it’s unwise, perhaps even unseemly, to put all that sex in my blog, especially if I post links on facebook.  So, if you want to read the sex part of my 1995 diary, you’ll have to buy the book when it comes out in a few months.  It should be skinny and cheap. 

I’m trying to think of a joke about how it’s my life’s ambition to be skinny and cheap, but it’s not coming to me in the right words.  It’s odd how, even in writing, you can have the feeling that the moment has passed.  If the right words didn’t come together quickly, they never will.

I weighed myself this morning:  149.8.  Crap!  Then I actually did crap and weighed myself again.  148.  Hurrah!  Am fitness guru.  Am also channeling Bridget Jones.  Will stop.

 I just went online and checked my Amazon account.  I’ve made exactly $62.67 as an author.  It may not seem like much for twenty years of work, but it’s my favorite $62.67 I’ve ever made.  It just seems like free money.

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”  How wrong.  But it’s one of those assertions that are so right in the moment they’re said that they become famous forever.

I never buy books, so why would I expect to make money by writing them?  When I go into a bookstore, most of the books you couldn’t pay me to read, and the few books I want to read just seem too expensive.  Even used books are expensive.  My own books seem horribly expensive for what they are. 

And you can get The Complete Works of Jane Austen, The Life of Johnson, and almost all of Trollope on Kindle for free.  So why would you pay $12.50 for some fifth-rate trade paperback that you can get at the library?

Exceptions crowd in.  My friends’ books, Oliver Sacks, Vikram Seth, Patrick O’Brian.  There are books you want to own.  And somehow this house filled up with books.  Where did they come from?  They just insinuate themselves.

 But back to my $67.62.  What should we buy?