I cheated a little– on Wednesday, rather than staying in Manchester or going up to Hanover for the final reading location, I popped over to Portsmouth to see Jane. With my girlfriend only an hour away, it was too tough to resist. During our drive, Callie began to tremble and cough, and the “Service Engine Soon” light popped on. Come on, we urged her, just a little farther and then you can rest. We were thinking the same to ourselves, of course.
Callie completed the trip, but I thought it best to take her into an auto repair place early the next morning. The mechanics couldn’t figure out what error code had caused the “Service Engine Soon” light to come on, even after I suggested “sounding about to break down” as an appropriate code, so they couldn’t do anything with her for a moment. After just a little wheedling, I convinced Jane to let us borrow her car, Budgie, to travel up to Hanover that afternoon. And so Callie got her long-promised rest, and we headed northwest with a substitute friend.
It was a day of five bookstores, strangely enough. Before we’d set out, we stopped by RiverRun and the brand-new Sheafe Street Books in Portsmouth. Then, on the way, we visited Old and Used Books in Northwood, an irresistible place crammed with reasonably priced books. We took a peek in the Borders in Concord and signed a few copies of our book, and then our journey ended at the Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover, New Hampshire. For both of us, it was the first time visiting campus since the original typo hunt, and it being the eve of the annual bonfire on the Green and other Homecoming activities, there were already plenty of people coming into town.
Unfortunately for us, that didn’t translate into a big crowd for our tour finale– Dartmouth’s recognition of our visit was pretty pathetic, so most people didn’t even know about our reading. We were lucky enough to have some friends come out, though, including the D staffer who wrote this nice review of the book the other week, and Benjamin’s thesis advisor, Professor Ackerman, who caught a typo during our visit back in 2008. Look at all the linking I’m doing; maybe I’ve got this internet thing figured out after all! Ho, ho!
We headed out for dinner with the professor afterward, and drinks with our friend Xander after that, and then it was just a little too late at night to crash the house that Benjamin’s friend had offered us for shelter, so we headed over to White River Junction to catch some winks at a low-grade motel and then send Benjamin on a train to D.C. the following morning, for the Rally to Restore Sanity.
I drove Budgie back to Portsmouth this morning after dropping Benjamin off– I support the rally with an eager heart, but I just don’t have another trip in me at this point. There’s a certain lady that I owe some considerable catching up to, and I intend to relax and enjoy the last gasp of autumn in my new home, walking over the leaf carpets in the little town by the sea. This concludes our tour blog, but we might have a little more to say.