Dear John

As people are visiting in preparation for the Author Humiliation Contest, we’re re-running the infamous Dear John letter from last year, as incentive to have fun. (Mr. Grisham can take a joke. We hope and pray….)

Let’s face it: we’ve had some good times, but they’re all in the past.

You made me laugh; you broadened my horizons; I ran my fingers down your spine and felt sexy and smart. We even shared some values. I will never forget weeping over A Time to Kill, feeling that I’d found my soul mate (not to mention this generation’s To Kill a Mockingbird).

But we’ve grown apart. Put more bluntly, you’ve changed. Try as I might, I just can’t get past Playing for Pizza. 

It’s over, John. Our bookstore won’t be taking any more Grishams–not paperback, not hardback, not written on vellum. I tried. Through the mood swings from The Testament to A Painted House, I stood by you.

“He’ll find himself again,” I said to naysayers. “Really, he’s a sensitive ’90s guy; did you read Rainmaker?” And then I read The Litigators, and wondered.

Frankly, John, it’s just not worth it to try again. Your hardbacks are clogging a desirable traffic area among the Pattersons and Cornwells. (If it’s any consolation, she’s next. You may find comfort under each other’s covers in the bargain bin; rebounds aren’t so bad if you have a traveling companion.)

Plus, your hardbacks take up an entire shelf, and can’t lie sideways because of their height. Size does matter, dude.

So really, it’s not you; it’s me. You’re just… too much. You throw yourself at every Amazon, Dick and Barnes and Noble, and then come crawling in here expecting I’ll take you back. You’re not a cheap date anymore; I need space for the next guy; you’re all over the place–in the Quick Trades, clogging the discount bin, lying under our shelves. I’m tired of cleaning up your messes every morning, after you party all night with the foster kittens. You’re just too cheap and easy.

I know, I know; you want to talk about the past, the glory days when people couldn’t keep their hands off you. I get it. I should feel lucky to have you here, with me, now. But it doesn’t work that way.

The time has come. Let’s be adult about this–no blame, no regrets. Admit it; you had fun. So did I. Shake hands before you go? No, don’t kiss me. You’re dusty. Just get out.

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