The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dim Sum

Blair was on Regis and Kelly this morning, and we’re watching the Amazon and Barnes and Noble numbers dropping. That’s really a lot of fun.

Strangely, if you take a look at the “people who bought this also purchased…” slot, you see a strange difference between Amazon and B&N. On Amazon, most of the “other” books are black-themed. On B&N, most of the other books are straight mainstream mysteries.

Another strangeness: our Amazon numbers are worse on weekends than weekdays, while the B&N numbers stay about the same.

Here’s an odd theory to explain it. More black readers use Amazon than B&N. A lower percentage of blacks than whites have home computers. Therefore, they buy books during the week—at their work computers, while whites are buying them on the weekends at higher rates.

Not sure why that difference exists, but it would explain both the book choices and the number variations…
Saw “Harry Potter” this weekend with Nicki, and enjoyed it plenty. I’ve never read the books, but they seem to be WAY above the average level of children’s books that were available when I was a kid. I wonder what people will think of them in fifty years.
Had Dim Sum with Harlan and his buddy Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”) Saturday. I think Harlan has a hard time believing he’s survived so long. The guy was definitely burning the candle at both ends, with a blow-torch aimed at the middle. And despite his health challenges, he is remarkably fast, clear and brilliant in conversation. His wife Susan is an Avatar of compassion, let me tell you. He is not for the faint of heart. Known him for 35 years, and still get a little nervous before I call him. Why? Like Octavia, Harlan is a writer’s writer. He is pure. Deal with him, and you had best to come Correct, as they say. In comparison, I just dabble. He encourages me, directly and indirectly, to be the most honest, unfiltered, direct version of myself. God knows that’s what he’s done, warts and all. Just a singular human being.

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