Monday, February 11, 2008

More Cool Introverts: Nancy Pearl

While I'm waiting to have a phone conference with my editor to talk about marketing issues, I thought we could take a brief break from the book lauching biz so that I could tell you what a complete thrill it was for me this weekend to hear Nancy Pearl, Librarian Extraordinaire speak. Omigod. She is amazing! A bonafide rock star in sensible shoes.

And, as you can see, she has her OWN shushing Action Figure. The deluxe edition figure even comes with a book cart. If I ever have my own Mary Hershey action figure, it will be shushing, too.

It's not too big a stretch to imagine that a librarian is an introvert. I could have probably pegged that even before hearing her speak. But, she is such an extraordinary example of someone that is SO introverted and SO in the public eye. In 1998, she developed the program "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book," which has spread all over the country. She is a regular commentator about books on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and NPR affiliate stations in Seattle and Tulsa. In 2004, she became the 50th winner of the Women’s National Book Association Award for her stellar contribution to the world of books.

She is the author of Book Lust, More Book Lust , and Book Crush, which are compilations of book reviews from all genres. Book Crush is for children's books. She credits a teen for that wonderful title.

During her talk, she told a very funny story about a breakfast event she had to attend, and how she dreaded it for days. She couldn't imagine she would have anything to say to anyone at her assigned table. Can you imagine? She-who-has-read-every-book-ever-written and remembers it with a savante-like ability! She ended up sitting with three men with a collective linguistic reciprocity score of minus three. Her desperate attempts to carry on a conversation with them had us howling. Part of the problem, Nancy shared, was that one of the men was very tanned and had shiny loafers with tassles. I so get that! Tassled footwear just puts me under the table, too!

She also can't abide the phone, channels another person entirely when public speaking, and prefers reading to most all life activities. I'm resting my case here. Nancy Pearl moves right into our Shrinking Violet Hall of Fame. Love her!

1. Research postcard and bookmark vendors
2. Brainstorm tie-ins for giveaways at book signings
Later, friends!
Mary Hershey


Unknown said...

What a great story. I would love to hear her speak. It's great to know she's one of us! (And it's interesting that recently I've been hearing about more and more people who have an aversion to the telephone. For a long time I thought I was the only one.)

I know a great bookmark/postcard vendor. We've had some jobs printed at Tu-vets and they do an outstanding job at a reasonable price:

Mary Hershey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Hershey said...

Hi, Sheila,

Thanks so much for the lead about tu-vets. I will definitely check it out?

Oh, yeah, if you EVER get a chance to hear Nancy Pearl speak, RUN, don't walk. :-)

You can add me to the list of people that go way, way "shrinky" about the phone. Eeeek!

Funny, huh?
Mary Hershey

R.L. LaFevers said...

Very cool story about Nancy Pearl, Mary. I think you gave me a copy of her BOOK LUST a birthday or two ago. I use it all the time. (It's a book journal, for those of you who aren't familiar with it.)

Anonymous said...

How fun to hear her talk. An introvert who creates her own action figure--I love that.

I read your list of to-dos at the end of the post. I think, for a tie-in, you guys need a tiny, rag doll version of Miss Viola. Think a miniature Raggedy Ann in red leather & lipstick.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Shrinking Violets action figures should probably come with hand-held fan (to hide the face), dark glasses, etc. And a writer's retreat cabin to rival anything Barbie ever had.

Mary Hershey said...

I'm laughing about the writer's retreat cabin, LA! Love it!

And, Becky, great idea about a Ms. Viola doll! Why didn't we think of that before? :-)

Robin, the Book Lust I gave you was the journal-- not the book that has all her reviews. I've ordered her books and will share them with you when they come in. Can't wait to see Book Crush.

Thanks for all your comments, everyone--

Heidi Rabinowitz said...

Great Nancy Pearl story! Another printer I've used a lot for library and podcast promotional stuff is PS Print,

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