I was in a store, and I wanted to buy a book with an autograph on it, so I bought it. I looked at the book, and I looked at the autograph, and I looked at my book again, and I realized, my book is the autograph. And it made me want to buy my book. And that’s all I needed to know.
The autograph is the book’s signature. It’s like finding a fingerprint in a picture of yourself. It is the book itself that gets signed but it is the autograph that makes you want to buy it.
So, why would you look at your own signature before buying a book? Because the entire reason you bought the book in the first place is because you wanted to buy the autograph. But you didn’t really need the autograph to make the purchase because you already knew you wanted to buy it because of the signature on the book. That’s the beauty of the autograph.
I’ve been told by a couple of the most recent autograph authors I’ve interviewed that their signature is often enough that there is only a single copy left on any given book. But that’s like saying you have only one copy of a book because there are only one hundred people in the world who have it.
The other way to make something really special is to make it something that you know absolutely everything about. The most famous example of this is the signature on a baseball card, but autographs, like books, are a lot more common. A book signed by a famous author is almost a signature in itself, which is why it is so rare that there is only one copy of the book.
If you have an autograph and you don’t know who wrote it, then you probably aren’t really following the book. You’re just signing something that someone else wrote. So why would you care about what someone wrote in a book? The reason is because the book is an object (like a painting, a sculpture, a book) that is often considered a work of art.
A book signed by someone famous is an important piece of the artist’s art history that has great value to them. However, it also has value to the person who wrote the book because the book is the only copy of the book, which makes the writer the only one who really knows what the author was thinking.
The best way to appreciate a book is to read it. Reading a book is like watching a movie—the pleasure you get from watching is the pleasure you get from the story, not the story itself.
In the same way that we enjoy watching movies because they’re great stories and we’re drawn into their world, we enjoy reading books because they’re great stories and we’re drawn into their world (and into the characters). By sharing a story with the world, the writer/artist can make the reader feel like they’re a part of it too.
For example, at the end of the Hunger Games trilogy, when our characters and the whole world have been wiped out, we are left to read a story about these characters who had just been fighting to survive. And when we read the book, we get to see how those characters live in a world that is no longer theirs. It is a world that has been wiped out by the Hunger Games.