"Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal -
For those who think and feel ...
Living in the limelight, the universal dream ... "
- Rush, "Limelight" (video after post)
I briefly contemplated presenting this as a weekend Random Act of Beauty post – except that it’s not entirely random, and it’s not so much beautiful as it is self-indulgent.
Nevertheless, it’s a sight that I consider absolutely sublime:
The Staff Picks bookshelf, in the limelight of the main entrance of our local Borders bookstore. Cast your gaze to the lower shelf, just right of center, where you’ll see a little book called The Running Life, right there on the same table as Chris McDougall’s Born to Run. Think there’s a chance that one of the store managers here might be a runner?
Below the book is one of those hand-written little tags where an employee tells you why this is such a great read. Ours says that the book is written by two local newspaper columnists, has great insight for runners of all abilities, and that it will change your life forever and contribute to world peace … or something like that. It's favorable.
I believe it's fair to admit that I’ve been relatively passive when it comes to promoting and marketing The Running Life. There’s a saying among writers that as soon as the book is completed, you stop being a writer and start being a salesman. Suffice it to say that I’m far more comfortable as a writer than I am as a salesman … come to think of it, I’m far more comfortable at anything than being a salesman. It's the writing that gives me joy; the selling part is almost complete anguish and torture - and that's not nearly as much of an exaggeration as you think.
Consequently, my friend Mike has done most of the heavy lifting on getting this thing distributed and promoted – and getting shelf placement in bookstores is no small accomplishment. I also have to admit that it’s pretty unreal - and pretty freaking cool - to walk into a bookstore and see your own book alongside the best and brightest of the industry.
For example, at what other time in my life will I be able to say I shared equal billing with Lance Armstrong, Dean Karnazes, and Jon Krakauer? But that’s me, baby, mixing it up with the big boys. Sure, I'm like a child among giants here - but if the fine patrons of this particular Borders care to think otherwise, I'm not going to be the one to correct them.
Rest assured that I don’t have any misconceptions about sales of our book rivaling the literary glitterati alongside it. At this point, I honestly don’t care if our book sells 100 copies or 100,000; just knowing that I got to see it on the featured shelf at a major bookstore is all the reward I need. (Good thing, too – because we’re a lot closer to that first number than the second.)
Of course, if you’d like to buy it, I certainly wouldn’t object - in fact, I'd be completely grateful - so you can get it here from Amazon.com, here on Kindle, or directly from our website where it’s a couple of bucks cheaper and you can leave us specific instructions for inscriptions or special orders.
Also, if you’re looking to buy it from a Borders bookstore, you might want to hurry. In that regard, I feel like The Running Life grabbed one of the last passenger slots on the Titanic; that stack of books you see is probably going down with the ship, but at least the journey was nice while it lasted.
And for no real reason other than being in the mood for it, here's one of the classics.
Rush, "Limelight" (click to play):
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