You may not have noticed but I have written a book. Not only have I written one, it is now available in bookshops, stacked right alongside other books written by other people.
Yesterday I visited a local well-stacked shop with a new young friend. He went straight to the science fiction section and bought one book and got another book free. Then, perhaps a little embarrassed, he asked: “Where’s your book?”
I showed him. He picked it up, flicked a few pages, and put it down.
We separated. He went back to sci-fi and I went over to history to search for something different about Rome, or Athens, or Isfahan, one of those great ancient cities from which great empires ruled what they thought was pretty much the entire world, expect for the bits ruled by the other great empire next door.
While there a woman approached me: “I’m sorry, you can’t even hide in a bookshop, but now I have seen you I must ask if you would sign this, please?”
She held out my book. I slapped it from her hand and screamed: “How dare you!”
No I didn’t, I took the book, smiled, introduced myself to her two sons, signed, smiled, and wondered if I should make a habit of standing in a bookshop as though trying to hide?