Since You Asked: The Book

In which the Author asks his Devoted Readers to name their Favorite Columns, in order that those columns might appear in a Book.

Published October 20, 2006 11:39AM (EDT)

Dear Readers,

Many of you have told me how much you would enjoy having a book of Since You Asked columns to read in a cafe or on a bus or in a cubicle or in bed or while ascending in a hot-air balloon. Indeed, the idea is unassailably sensible.

And what columns ought to go into such a book? Why, they ought to be your favorite columns, the ones you remember and want to read again, the ones you want to show your friends and quote and read aloud at small dinner parties. And what else should be in such a book? It ought to contain other writings, of course -- poems, perhaps, and recipes, and anecdotes, as well as follow-ups about the fate of some of our correspondents.

So I have decided to publish such a book. In order to find out what your favorite columns are, I am asking you to write to me and tell me.

As you may know, a while back we engaged in some discussions with major publishers about such a book, but ultimately the project just got weird and twisted and died. So after an appropriate period of cursing and teeth gnashing, I decided we should do what feels right and publish it ourselves. That way the experience is authentic and down to earth and spiritually correct: It's just us funky West Coast weirdos publishing a book, celebrating this community of amazing readers and writers with amazing problems and solutions and wild ideas and feelings and life stories.

So that's what we'll do. My wife and I are going to design, edit and publish this. Between us, we have all the editorial, graphic production and design expertise required. Moreover, we have rather strong feelings about how it should look, how it should exist as an object. I never did like the idea of having the book publisher control the look of the book anyway. I don't like how most books look. I didn't want my book to end up looking like all the other books. I love books and I want mine to be a book for people who love books. I want it to look better than other books. I want it to be a wonderful object.

Not fancy, but cool and wonderful.

The timing for this is good. Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the very first column. And I am just back from Europe, ready for a new project.

There will be no regular column today so that instead you might comb the archives for your favorite columns.

Happy hunting! I look forward to hearing from you! And the regular column will resume on Monday.


Cary T.

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