Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Biblio-blunder: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Biblio-blunder is a sporadic (thankfully) feature in which we share our bookish gaffes with the world. Click on the label biblio-blunder to read more.

Last week Adele wrote about her fan letter to her favorite author. It reminded me when I wrote to an author. But it wasn't a fan letter. It was a desperate plea for help. HELP, I say!

There was a time when I could take a book, read it, and nary a mishap. Then I began to get old and feeble- minded. I got the dropsies in the bubble bathies. And the coffee spillages on the page the killer was revealed.

"As God as my witness...As God as my witness, I will never borrow a friend's precious book. Only from the library because I can always just pay the fine. No harm, no foul."

This entire speech was said with such conviction, such feeling, that all those listening shed a tear. Yes. One single tear. And a rose was involved somehow. Maybe I bit a potato. And I may have been alone. I don't remember. The point is, I could not trust myself with books.

I broke this cardinal rule one fateful day. I broke it and lived to tell the tale.

One of my friends knew I was going on a long car trip. She knew I wanted to read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. She knew I was clumsy and had children, but that temptress offered the book anyway! I tell you, I couldn't say no. What a fool I was! What a fool.

My old nemesis

What happened, you ask? Oh. I'll tell you what happened. Chocolate milk, the deadliest of all milks happened.

 Chocolate milk spilled out of the bottle in the cupholder into my bag o' stuff-to-do-on-a-twelve-hour-car-trip. And worse yet, I DID NOT KNOW, until it glued the middle pages together. A brown gloppy stinky mess. No chance to clean it up.

But the worst, ABSOLUTE WORST, was that this was a hard-bound, PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED, FIRST EDITION beautiful book ruined by yours truly. Oh. Yes. I felt so bad. It ruined my trip.

As soon as I got back to the US, I searched high and low for a replacement. I avoided my friend. I searched for a first edition that was autographed for about a week. Finally, I hunted down the address for Rebecca Wells. Then I wrote a particularly pathetic letter, explaining what happened and begging her for an autographed copy. Every possible mean of contacting were included. I didn't hear from her.

I finally gave up. After nearly two months I tracked down an autographed, first edition. I bought it and placed it in the bag with the ruined book. I wrote another pathetic letter apologizing and explaining what happened. I gave it to her husband and, like a coward, left the scene.

My friend called me later that week and told me it was fine. That she hated that I was so stressed about it, I should've told her, no need for another one, etc. She's even offered to let me borrow more books. I always say NO!

But that, folks, is not the end. About two months after this, I get a phone call. Guess who it was? Ms. Wells' assistant! Yes! She called me! They got my letter and wanted to help me. She was so very very nice. I thanked her profusely and told her I had purchased one already. She kind of laughed, apologized for taking so long to get back to me, that they understood what happened and if there was anything else that they could help with to let them know.

So, that, my folks, is my "writing an author" story. Pathetic? Yes. Will I ever borrow someone's book? Unless I can run to Barnes and Noble to replace it, then NO! I learned my lesson. Again.

Please feel free to share your bookish horror stories so I don't feel quite so bad.


  1. +JMJ+

    Oh, that poor book! But what a great friend you are to have gone to such lengths to replace it! And what a great friend she is to keep offering to lend you more books! Finally, wasn't the author's assistant so nice and helpful? This is a really heartwarming story, even if we can't say, "No books were hurt during the making of this post." ;-)

    By the way, I'm kind of reminded of the short story The Necklace. That one is a huge tragedy, though. Thank goodness for happy endings like this one!

  2. Hahaha! Yes, this was a tragedy for the book, but, fortunately, no humans were harmed in the making of this post!

  3. Sometimes life calls for a little Scarlett drama and potato biting, doesn't it! Very funny in the retelling but I know it must have been a nightmare. And you definitely win the biblio-blunder blue ribbon with that one. Since you were so brave to 'tell-all', I may have to share my secret shame sometime. Nothing compared to your bibli-blunder but it does involve food and someone else's book. I never ask to borrow anyone's book and I wish no one would insist that I borrow their book.

    1. Hahaha. I had a friend that said that I reminded her of Miss Scah-lett. She swore it was a compliment. Not so sure, but being dramatic is more fun than crying!
      PLEASE, by all means, share your story!! I will admit, this took 6 years for me to 'fess up...

  4. Not book related, but I asked a silversmith friend to do a MINOR repair on a bracelet. She dropped it into the cleaning bath that is apparently the prerequisite for any silversmithing job. And it dissolved--poof! She was upset just like you, Leslie, and came to me with tears in her eyes. I told her it was an ebay cheapie and clearly not silver as advertised. The poor woman! Never ask a friend to repair jewellery, either.

    1. Oh no! So the lesson is, if anyone ever borrows anything, even money, we should assume we won't get it back! And don't borrow something if you can't replace it!

    2. +JMJ+

      That's actually really spot-on advice. But I may never lend or borrow anything ever again. LOL! ;-)

    3. I know! Sometimes it's just not worth it!

  5. How wonderful, not the chocolate milk stuff but the fact that they called, and so happy you found a replacement. Hope to see you at the Thursday linky party this week. xo

    1. If this was pre-internet, there would be no happy ending!


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