Rushdie said he had signed 1,000 copies, on his most recent tour promoting the Enchantress of Florence, in a books warehouse in Nashville in 57 minutes.So Mr. Rushdie signed the books at the rate of one every 3 1/2 seconds. I have to admit that I'm impressed with his stamina and speed but would someone please tell me why I should add special value to something that the man held in his hands for less than four seconds, a book that obviously spent more time in the hands of the helpers who were shoving them at him one after the other than in Rushdie's? (Actually I would be willing to bet that he probably just raised his hand after each signature, allowing one helper to move the signed book away from him as a second helper was pushing a fresh copy under his raised hand).
Rushdie insisted: "Let me be clear: I did not initial the books, but signed my full name." The Best of Booker winner agreed that a crack team of book-handlers is essential.
"I did have the support of experienced staff at Ingrams book distributors in Nashville, (and at many other US bookstores), who will confirm that among the fastest present-day signers of books are President Jimmy Carter, the novelist Amy Tan, and myself," he said.
Sorry, Mr. R., but I don't "get it" because I don't collect books as an investment; I collect them for their content and whatever memories get attached to them along the way. This whole process of mass producing signed books just seems ludicrous to me...and a bit seedy.