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Today’s blog post comes to us from the talented and lovely local reader/author, Christina Ledbetter. We hope to see some of Christina’s work in the Kbuuk bookstore soon, but until then to find more of Christina’s wit and charm, check out her blog at Just the Assistant, which is funny on its own, but especially useful if you just so happen to be looking to secure a mortgage in the Houston area. Given the fact that Houston’s creative economy outpaces most cities, maybe we can entice you to move down here and join your fellow creatives. So without further ado…

Christina Ledbetter

Airport Book Sales and My Chances of Medaling in the Olympics

While standing at the check in counter at a Florida airport last week, a woman wearing a floppy straw hat and sunglasses rolled her suitcase up to the kiosk next to mine. She and her husband approached the screen  and wondered aloud how to work the contraption. My husband gave her some pointers and she looked over to me and said, “We’re computer, uh, not smart.” I smiled, because I know that one day in the future I’ll likely be computer not smart too.

In the meantime, I’ve got just a touch of computer smarts that I enjoy the heck out of. I devour e-books late into the night, I approach blog reading like some approach knitting (with questionable sanity) and can spend just as much time browsing newly published e-short stories than I will actually reading them. All this to say, technology has done my reading habit right.

But twice a year, I throw technology to the wind and purchase an airport book. “A book about airports?” you wonder? No, dear readers. Books from airports. They are a different read indeed. Twice a year, before going on a trip involving hours of downtime of which I can spend at leisure, I allow myself the pleasure of selecting a book from among roughly forty-two other books that have enjoyed high enough book sales that they’ve made it into Hobby Airport’s terminal three.

I figure if 90% of other Americans have enjoyed it, I’ll like it at least 90%. And I know that I can get sand or peanut butter or mimosa on its pages and it won’t make a difference. That is the beauty of airport reads.

A few months ago at a conference, an elderly gentleman insisted to one of the Kbuuk staffers that traditional publishing is the only way to go. “It’s the only way to get book sales in the airports!” he exclaimed. I suppose that if your goal is to have your book sitting proudly in terminal three, then the elderly guy is right. And who am I to judge? If my blog posts could somehow make it onto those same stands, I’d be the first to sign up.

But that won’t be happening. First of all, nobody just signs up for that. The hoops through which I would have to jump and luck I’d need on my side to ever see my own shining face smiling down from a book jacket at the floppy hat wearing women in airports across the world would rival the same hoops and luck I’d need to win the Olympic gold in poetry reading (and unfortunately, they dropped that back in the forties).

I ended up finishing that airport read while waiting at the gate for my plane to arrive. As I boarded the flight, I noticed a familiar straw hat and glasses behind me. “Do you like thrillers?” I asked my familiar companion.

“Oh, yes!” she answered.

I handed over my airport read. She was thrilled (Get it? Forgive me.), but not as thrilled as I am knowing I will no longer be needing all those stars to align in order to publish my own thriller (or chic-lit or memoir) these days.