Here’s the deal. The bargain section at Barnes and Noble is a literary graveyard. It’s where poorly selling Iranian cookbooks, how to guides to the things no one on Earth needs to know how to do, and autobiographies from twenty something, fifteen minutes of fame reality stars go to die. It’s a sad, lonely aisle. But, then again, you can’t beat a bargain.
I stopped by earlier today and arranged a few of my favorites on a shelf –
I know the titles are a little hard to make out, so let’s review.
Firstly, we have Uses for Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, written by John Grisham. Just kidding. This was actually written by Random Person Paid Handsomely By Reynolds Wrap. It’s published by a sweet little company called Publications International (their parent company, I assume, is Generic Industries Incorporated). They have a whole series of these product placement gone crazy books. I opened this one up and read one use for Reynolds Wrap – after swimming, wrap your wet clothes in aluminum foil to keep other items from getting wet. And then I closed the book. And put it down. There was really no need to read anymore.
Next on the bargain shelf is King Size Towel Origami: 50 Fantastic Folding Projects for Your Bath Towels, Bathrobes, and Beach Towels. The author is Alison Jenkins who, I kid you not, has also written: The Lost Art of Towel Origami, Towel Origami Pack, The Little Book of Towel Origami and Jurassic Towel Origami. Not only is this woman making a living out of personifying absorbency, but she’s written an entire book about making your towels look like dinosaurs. And that’s what makes America great.
So, if you have a drawer full of googly eyes and no other conceivable way to occupy your time, you can purchase this book and roll up your towels into animal shapes. Look, it’s been a slow summer. I haven’t had a copywriting job since May. I don’t do anything. I sit on the couch. I watch TV. I write a blog and try to complete two screenplays. I stare at the wall. My life is nothing but free time. And I still don’t have enough free time to consider creating a panda out of my bath towels. I think, by definition, there is always something better to do than towel origami.
Lastly, there’s How To Silhouette Your Pet. I think a better title would have been Why To Silhouette Your Pet, because I, for one, can’t think of a single reason. Only after I finish folding all of my beach towels into a grazing family of Triceratops, will I even begin to consider a schnauzer silhouette.
So, why should these books bother me? Simple. It’s the fact that this kind of crap is flooding the marketplace that makes it so much more difficult for me to ever publish my kind of crap. I’m not saying I’m Faulkner over here, but I’ve got to be more entertaining than a book about how to wrap your bathing suit in aluminum foil. Come on.
So, how am I going to do it? How will I clear out the bargain section and replace it with volumes authored by yours truly? I guess I’ll just give them what they want. Starting tomorrow, I’m putting my screenplay on the backburner and I’m writing Makya McBee Presents 1,000 Non-Kitchen Uses for the Spatula, Makya’s Guide to Even Bigger Origami: Folding Your Sheets, Quilts and Comforters Into Fabulous Landmarks for No Particular Reason, and Pet Collage! The McBee Plan for Turning Household Pets Into Priceless Art With Only a Spatula.
Make some room in the bargain section Mr. Barnes, I’m on my way.