Why do climbers ascend the mountain, shoppers flock to a sale, politicians aspire to a higher office, and adolescent boys yearn for what, to them, is their greatest wish? The answer, of course, is BECAUSE IT IS THERE.
That works in book marketing, too. For way too many years I have been buying Stephen King books - sometimes enjoying them but all too often being disappointed once again, put off by what we in the news business used to call "diarrhea of the typewriter," King's story-telling genius run amok, blathering on for hundreds and hundreds of pages, signifying in the end way too little.
Yet, like the mountain, the sale, the higher office, and you know what, a new Stephen King novel IS ALWAYS THERE!
So this morning, at Helena's Hastings book-music-movie store in search of Norah Jone's latest album, I stumbled on King's latest: a 1,000-page tome about the size of a cement block titled "Under the Dome." Selling for $19.99, well under the $35 list price. Hey, a little Maine town suddenly gets cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious glass-like but unbreakable dome. What happens inside? I wanted to know, so I hefted the huge book, staggering only a bit, and lugged it to the cashier.
I'm just 200 pages into it, but this might be one of the good ones. Let's hope so - just holding it in my lap is a chore.