Did a signing at this semi-annual meeting of librarians and the people who love them — namely, publishers, writing associations, database salesmen, library chair manufacturers, etc. Heaven, to be in a football-stadium sized room full of avid book-lovers. I signed 400 galleys of Mudbound in a little over two hours, at the end of which my fingers were about to fall off my hand. Must think of a better (and shorter) inscription than “To Soandso, With best wishes.” I put “Happy reading!” on a couple of copies before deciding it lacked a certain gravitas, not to mention truthfulness. Whatever else Mudbound may be, it’s hardly a happy read. That evening, the lovely folks from Algonquin treated me and fellow Algonquin author Aaron Lansky to a magnificent seafood dinner at The Striped Bass restaurant. Aaron is the author of Outwitting History, The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books. In 1980, at the age of 23, he and some friends set out on a mission to save Yiddish-language books, only 70,000 of which were thought to be in existence. 27 years later, he and his National Yiddish Book Center (which he founded) have collected some 1.5 million volumes. As you might imagine, Aaron is considered godlike among librarians, who apparently came in droves at 8 a.m. to hear him give a talk about his work. (Yours truly was sleeping off the effects of the aforementioned dinner.) I’ve just started the book, and it’s poignant and funny, a real romp. No wonder Aaron is known as “the Yiddish Indiana Jones.”All in all, great fun. Hopefully the booksellers in two weeks will be an equally enthusiastic bunch.