Best-selling novelist David Sedaris and his $4000 tip jar

Publisher: Little, Brown

I got my first postcard from an interviewee. Award-winning author and humorist, David Sedaris, sent me one with a horse on it, thanking me for our interview.

While reading his latest book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, I laughed my ass off on the subway. Then I laughed my ass off while talking to him about his book tours. (The postcard should have had a donkey on it.)

David Sedaris: “Sometimes, I think I was born to go on book tours. One of the reasons that I do so enjoy my book tours is that I’m constantly making it fun for myself.

“I got this letter from a woman in California saying: “You told my daughter that she needed to have a baby before she graduated from high school, that it was going to make her life much easier and she should start taking as many drugs as possible. How dare you?” It’s so over-the-top. How was this girl going to think for one second that I was being serious? I just hate it when people ruin your fun like that.

“Last night was an easy night. I signed books for five hours and 45 minutes in Halifax. I never look beyond the person that I’m speaking to. I always like having gifts for teenagers; I’m just so grateful that young people come. A couple of books ago, I put a tip jar on my signing table and I made over $4,000 on my tour. The problem was then I started hating people who didn’t tip me. I didn’t say anything to them, but I would just sit there thinking, “You cheap son of a bitch. I just signed four books and you can’t even give me a dollar?” And why should they? But I just got so involved in it. I had to stop doing it.

“I told people it was all for me to spend on candy. They were delighted because it’s funny to give money to someone who doesn’t need it. If there had been a beggar outside the bookstore, at the end of the evening, he might have had 75 cents where as at the end of my best evening in Dallas — [I had] $530 in tips.”

To read the entire piece in the Post, click here.

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