Book Passage

A great day yesterday. Had a fun interview with a newspaper reporter—he’d obviously thought a lot about organic gardening and farming and how earthworms relate to that, so we had an interesting conversation about worldwide food production and soil fertility and all kinds of wide-ranging topics.

Then I was off to Book Passage and man, what a place to read. I mean, I’ve always loved hanging out there as a customer, but they really give authors the royal treatment. They wouldn’t let Scott and I pay for our lunches in the café, I got a really nice, thoughtful introduction before my talk, and afterwards, the staff gave me what turns out to be the traditional gift for authors who read at Book Passage: notecards embossed with my name.
I feel so unworthy.

I mean, T.C. Boyle, one of my favorite authors, has these notecards.

And now I know where he got them. I got mine from the same place.


Oh, and by the way, the talk went just fine, too. There were probably 30 people or so, many of them part of the Master Composter program in Marin. I’ll probably see some of them again on Saturday at the Marin Art & Garden Center, where I’m going to do more of a straightforward worm composting workshop.

After Corte Madera, we headed to Berkeley. I stopped at the two Cody’s locations to sign stock. While I was on Telegraph, I went into Moe’s and they had a couple copies in their new book section. I took them up to the counter, explained that I was out on my book tour, and the woman behind the counter said, “Do you have the worms with you?”

“Sure,” I said.

“No, I mean with you, right now.”

“Yeah, they’re right here in my bag,” I said.

“Oh, we’ll need to see them,” she said, so I pulled out the red wigglers, showed them off to the staff, and, having seen the proof, they let me sign books.

The workshop at Berkeley Ecology Center went well, too. I was warned that lots of people would wander in late, and that at least one person was certain to arrive just before the end of the workshop. Sure enough, there were only 5 or 6 people there when I started talking at 7:00, but by 7:30 there were probably 20 or 25 people in the audience. And as promised, a woman walked in at 8:15, just before the end of the workshop.

This Berkeley audience was probably the most sophisticated I’ve encountered yet. Many of them were already composting with worms, a few had taught worm composting workshops, they knew lots of obscure worm facts, and had very pointed and thoughtful questions. (if you feed worms dryer lint, what about the synthetic fibers in your laundry? Is it OK to feed worms horse manure if the horses have been given de-worming pills? What species of worms should I expect to find in the native plant creek restoration I’m working on?)

Whew! OK, Berkeley, I’ll check on all that and get back to you. People always ask me if I’m going to write a sequel (The Earth Kept On Moving? The Earth Moved Some More?) and if I keep getting questions like these, I may need to do one after all!