This was encouraging. Ashley and I stopped by our local Borders today. As we wandered around after looking for Faerie Tale Theater on DVD (which we found, outrageously priced at $99, which is almost twice as much as it’s going for on Amazon), I noticed a display in the middle of the floor for the new Dan Brown novel, The Lost Symbol.
It was a neatly arranged circular pile about three feet high, built entirely from copies of The Lost Symbol. There must have been fifty books making it up. Then, nearer the entrance, I saw even more copies piled up on a table.
This made me smile. I haven’t looked up how The Lost Symbol is selling, though I imagine it’s doing well. But seeing so many extra copies of it lying around, destined never to be sold (at least not at full price) gave me this vindictive sense of happiness. Yes, I know that the author already has his money, and that it’s the sellers that will probably suffer most for over-ordering books that people won’t buy, but still . . .
After the insane sales of The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown became one of those authors (like John Grisham and Nora Roberts) who I despise for the mere fact of their success. I’ve never read a Brown novel (nor Grisham, nor Roberts), but I get the sense it’s a lot like war — I don’t need first-hand knowledge to know it’s a traumatic and debasing experience.
Someday soon I hope to see severely discounted copies of The Lost Symbol showing up at Wonder Book and Video, or on those portable shelves on the sidewalk outside Borders, selections in the ongoing “We need the space more than the money at this point” sale. Oh, what a lovely day will that be . . .