Friday, November 07, 2008

Etiquette at a Reading

I saw David Sedaris read his work last night. It was on the tiny second floor of a popular English language bookshop in Paris. I will spare you the annoyance of gushing about how funny, and down-to-earth, and insightful he was, even though that's all true. Instead, I dedicate this post to things that really super duper annoyed me, none of which concerned the author himself.

1. People who handed him 3+ books to sign. I think even two books is pushing it. He is probably sick of signing books, especially after just finishing a 33-city tour. So just give the guy one book and get on with it. That huge stack, one for yourself (Laurel, like Lauren, but with an "L"), one for your mom (Kirsten), one for your stepson (would you mind adding something like "to a fellow writer, because he wants to be a writer too") and another for your best friend… ok no. There are plenty of other people here and you are wasting everyone else's time by being greedy.

2. People who get really good seats but don't deserve them. I was within spitting distance of David Sedaris, and two people sitting by me hadn't read any of his books. (They intended to though. Because all their friends said he was great!) People who arrive the earliest get the best seats, I know. But I am sure there were many latecomers who deserved more to sit there, people who actually appreciated the author because they had taken the time to appreciate him by reading his work.

3. People who do not care to respect the author's wishes because they are more important than said author, obviously. David Sedaris requested that people refrain from taking photos. They're distracting when he's trying to read. The woman behind me took a photo. I wouldn't have known if she hadn't approached David Sedaris afterward and apologized, but "it's for my stepson." Huh? How does that make it okay that you blatantly ignored his request? That just makes it more rude. Also, I couldn't help but entertaining the idea that her stepson doesn't really care if he has a blurry photo of David Sedaris. So I will go on to assume that the photo was a waste.

1 comment:

opticalresolve said...

So true. I wish there was some universal standard of "reasonable" --waiting in lines, cell phone ringers, movie theaters, rest rooms, roommates etc. Until then, I guess I'll just have to accept people ahead of me who save spots for their seven friends, all the wet countertops and, those annoying novelty ring tones.