The e-mail from Simon & Schuster began, “I see you have book club on Sundays, but will you be willing to move it?”
Common Good Books events manager David Enyeart had to think twice — book clubs are important to bookstores, after all — but in the end it wasn’t a hard choice. He moved the book club meeting for July 20 in order to make room for author and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will sign her new memoir, “Hard Choices,” at the store that afternoon.
Clinton has visited 17 cities since “Hard Choices” came out in late June, sometimes doing Q & As, sometimes signings only. The Common Good Books event will be a signing only.
Her book has sold more than 100,000 copies — enough to make the New York Times bestsellers list, but not enough to match sales of “Living History,” her memoir about her years in the White House. Still, Simon & Schuster spokesman Cary Goldstein said, “The tour has been fantastic — a thousand people or more, typically; very passionate and enthusiastic crowds.”
Common Good Books will sell up to 1,000 tickets for the event; tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book. With such a short turnaround time, tickets will be sold in person at the store only — no phone or Internet orders. The store is at 38 S. Snelling Av. in St. Paul.
The former first lady will be there from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. July 20 and has promised to sign 1,000 books. That’s 500 books an hour. That’s one book every 7.2 seconds. “She can do it,” Enyeart said. “She’s been practicing.”
Common Good Books will be closed for other business that day. Ticketed customers cannot bring bags into the store, and will be subject to a metal detector. They can bring a cellphone and a wallet, and while selfies with Clinton are not OK — they take time, and the line must keep moving — other cellphone photos are fine.
And there might be more than one celebrity to photograph; word is that bookstore owner Garrison Keillor plans to be on hand as well.