Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tour Day 18 and 19

I've got to stop staying at cheap motels.

After a lovely stay in Philly last night, bunking with my buddy Jim Coursey in his deluxe Hampton Inn suite, I cruised into NY.

I did nine signings in PA (including one with Jim Munchel in Camp Hill who had 110 copies of my books) and spent the night hours drinking Yuengling lager with Mr. Coursey. The next morning, I headed to the Big Apple on four hours of sleep. After a wonderful lunch with Leslie Wells and her niece, I was so wiped out I had to take a nap.

In an effort to keep down costs I decided to stay in New Jersey, and my trusty GPS led me to the appropriately named Budget Inn in Elizabeth. While the Knight's Inn has this place beat in terms of squalor, this room should win some sort of award for worst odor. It smells like someone murdered a hooker on the bed. And after the murder, they smoked eight thousand cigarettes, while farting. Next hotel, I swear I'll get a room that costs more than fifty bucks.

I was asleep the moment my head hit the smelly limp thing the Inn's proprietors optimistically refer to as a pillow. I awoke in the early evening, and visited some stores in Staten Island and around Jersey. I'll post a complete list of stores tomorrow night (perhaps) but in the meantime here's the stats:

Miles driven so far: 4604
Bookstores visited so far: 156
Books signed so far: 1332
Books hand sold so far: 143
Bookstores remaining: 344
Nights in crappy hotels: 5

The Backspace Conference is happening this weekend, at the reknowned Algonquin Hotel in NYC. I'll be doing the toastmaster thing, and I believe I'm also on some sort of panel. Tomorrow I'm hitting Manhattan with my publicist and we're going to visit at least 15 stores. But now, the lumpy bed beckons...