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Memo: What I Learned From My Memorial Day Weekend Book Readings

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1. Don't read on Memorial Day Weekend!

2. Start with a joke -- something like: "I know you'd probably prefer to be in the Hamptons." But don't antagonize the 12 people in the audience by adding: "... but couldn't afford it." The bartender won't give you a free drink.

3. Ask your older brother to sit in the back, instead of the front row, so when you're about to faint you won't hear him shout: "Having a moment?"

4. When your older brother talks for the fifth time during one of your anecdotes, don't just offer to have him finish the story, but actually hand him the microphone and take a seat.

5. If you're reading in Brooklyn, make sure you're in Brooklyn, and not Queens. Be willing to ask plaid-shirted young man in skinny jeans for directions. At the very least, he'll tell you about his Indy film project about building rooftop chicken farms.

6. Place plenty of U.S. flags outside your indie bookstore, with a chalk-board sign offering: "Free Beer to Vets" (anything but your name and your book reading). This way, you'll get veterans and veterinarians.

7. Make sure you have free beer.

8. Check weather report for sign of major flooding due to flash floods.

9. Forget weather report. That's just an excuse. Most people are out in the Hamptons anyway.

10. Forgive hard-working family members and friends who were enjoying barbecues with their families instead of attending your reading in Greenpoint, Queens, which turned out to be Brooklyn. But send them a guilt-infused e-mail: "Hope you had a nice time with your family even though I flew in from Wisconsin and gave you three months' notice."

11. Make sure to give correct address for the venue to your Lower East Side of Manhattan reading.

12. Make sure Lower East Side venue even has a sign outside.

13. Stand outside Lower East Side venue wearing sandwich board offering "Free Beer to Vets."