« Submit to Reader Appreciation Week! | Main | Officially a Geek »

June 13, 2003

New Book! New Book!

Hey, kids! Got $12 or so to blow? Well, your bookstore should now be stocking Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into Great Lives, to which yours truly contributed articles on mediocre presidents, "fifth Beatles," Looney Tunes creators, the Dangerous Lives of Philosophers and the proverbial much more. If you're not already running out the door to buy copies for yourself and every other person you've ever known over the course of your life, well, I just have to say I'm disappointed. Look, here's the cover:

Posted by john at June 13, 2003 10:53 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.scalzi.com/mt2/mt-tb.cgi/2427

Comments

Bowler | June 13, 2003 12:23 PM

"the Dangerous Lives of Philosophers"

I read this as "The Dangerous Lives of Photoshoppers"

And forgive me, but I can't buy any book that has a toilet on the cover. There's just something really really wrong about that ;).

So just for the record, no toilets on the covers of your fiction works, mmmkay? Because I like those, and I'll be buying your new book whenever it sees shelf-space.

Lisa | June 13, 2003 01:34 PM

I have to agree. I've flipped through the "Bathroom Readers" at the store, they are mildly interesting and amusing. But call me prudish, but I don't want the toilet book in my house, either. I never understood the concept of reading in the bathroom...I get in, get out, no one gets hurt...no need for a bookshelf in there. I'll go back to my comfy couch to read a novel or something. There are other instances where it may be convenient to read short blurbs: the doctor's office waiting room, the bus, waiting in the car to pick up your kid from school...see, no need for a toilet on the cover. Why? Why? is all I ask. oh, and would they sell better if they lost the shitter? We'll never know the answer to that, will we?

Burns! | June 13, 2003 01:50 PM

It's not that Lisa (presumably a woman) *doesn't* understand the concept of reading in the bathroom; it's that she *can't* understand.

It's a man thing. Don't question it, just accept.

Bowler | June 13, 2003 02:30 PM

Yeah, but I'm a man, and I still don't read in the bathroom. Play the GBA? Yes. Read? No.

Dennis | June 13, 2003 03:49 PM

Not to plug Scalzi's stuff too much here, but these Uncle John books make great Father's Day gifts for the dads in my life. Anything that combines reading in the bathroom and learning (almost) useless trivia has to have a high dad entertainment value.

John Scalzi | June 13, 2003 04:15 PM

Lisa asks:

"Why? Why? is all I ask. oh, and would they sell better if they lost the shitter? We'll never know the answer to that, will we?"

My understanding is that the average "Uncle John's" book sells better than 100,000 copies per edition, so it doesn't seem to be *hurting* sales, at the very least. In fact the "Bathroom Reader" series is popular enough that it's inspired at least one knockoff: "W. C. Privy's Original Bathroom Companion," written by a former "Uncle John's" contributor.

I myself read in the bathroom, but it's not because I have an affinity for reading there; it's because I read everywhere, and the bathroom is a subset of that. However, I do know rather a number of people who tend to do most of their reading on the pot, and I suppose if you're going to read something there, you might as well read something interesting.

I suppose if I actually thought about the fact that something I wrote was intentionally marketed to be read while someone was defecating, it might disturb me. But I don't, and at least they're reading.

Anyway, the toilet on the cover apparently isn't actually a marketing disincentive overall. You might not buy it (or may not want to be seen buying it, in any event), but others seem not have the same problem. Either that, or, as Dennis notes, it's given a lot as gifts.

Either way, I get paid for writing amusing and informative stuff, so I'm sure as hell not going to complain.

Bowler: No toilets on the fiction, as far as I know. There's also no toilet on the "Book of the Dumb" cover, so you'll be safe there as well.

mark | June 15, 2003 08:22 AM

[QUOTE:However, I do know rather a number of people who tend to do most of their reading on the pot, and I suppose if you're going to read something there, you might as well read something interesting. :QUOTE]

I'd extend that to "... you're you're going to read something there, you might as well read something specifically designed for the purpose."

Personally, I read on the toilet all the time (what's with Americans and "bathroom"? A bathroom's where the bath and sink and shower &c is. It may or may not be the same room), although like you (and unlike, it seems, Burns), it's more because I read *everywhere* than any other reason. Although it's a great way to pass the time... along with the obvious.

[QUOTE:I suppose if I actually thought about the fact that something I wrote was intentionally marketed to be read while someone was defecating, it might disturb me.:QUOTE]

It could be worse. I read some review once, where the reviewer described the book as "perfect for reading on the can, as you can then graphically express your opinion of its content soon afterwards", or words to that effect.

mark | June 15, 2003 08:25 AM

But I don't think I'll be forking out $20 (Aus) for UJBR's "Great Minds". I've already got a large list of books with greater Scalzi-input (or greater "interest" factor, like the RGT The Universe) that I'll be buying when the winds of fortune deposit enough money in my lap (i.e. several months from now).

Andrew Cory | June 16, 2003 03:35 AM

I just did a quick check at work (I work at a really big store in a really big chain). We have three on order... for when it comes out in July...

Our website says the same thing. A quick look at Amazonís site says that it will ship in 4-5 weeks; this tells me that they donít have it either but wonít cop to it...

Perhaps you misread?

Anonymous | June 16, 2003 06:08 AM

Nope. My source at the publisher says it's in the warehouses now and at some stores. Also, inasmuch as my book was listed as coming out in July up to a couple of days after it came out, those listings aren't always accurate.

Andrew Cory | June 16, 2003 07:39 AM

Hm, well, given that I can't _get_ a copy into my store, we'll see. Then again, if it came out on a Friday, it may simply be taking until monday to arive in our store...