In between taking daily requests for 50 Shades of Grey while working the counter at Park Slope's Community Bookstore, doing stand-up comedy sets, and playing countless hours of Madden and Dr. Mario, comedian Dan Wilbur has written a book.
Dan, a Kensington resident, recently published How Not To Read: Harnessing the Power of a Literature-Free Life based on Better Book Titles, his comedy blog about photoshopped book covers. The subject is a touchy one for Dan; his love for literature is derailed by his video games addiction, and he makes a living peddling hardbacks to Park Slope's residing authors. As of last Tuesday, Dan is now part of this elitest group with a tongue-in-cheek how-to on getting by without reading. His own book is currently on display at Community, where he offers customized book covers with purchase. We caught up Dan to find out more about his book and why the book store employee is empowering people to never read.
Tell me who the average Park Slope reader is in one sentence:
"Oh, I happen to be (or once was) a writer." (Not an insult, by the way! I think the taste of Park Slope bookish folk seems to be that of experienced editors/writers even if they don't have those occupations themselves. They know some people who recommend Calvino and Paul Auster. Or they actually are Paul Auster.)
So far I've made it all the way to Greenpoint and lower Manhattan. Pretty cool stuff. Have you heard of this place "Union" "Square"? It's huge! So many people. The tour hasn't really lifted off the ground, but it is full nice stops: New Hampshire, Boston, Philly, Cleveland, and probably California before Christmas. If, for any other reason, to perform comedy in all those cities while signing books during the day.
It might be too early, but any plans for a sequel?
Sure! My friend Robert Dean and I are working on a book based on our blog "Unquotables" and on top of that I'd like to do something about specific literary figures and fake letters. I've done a bit about Virginia Woolf giving her editor a panic attack that could be a great exchange to put on paper. I think there are more Better Book Titles books to be made.
Be sure to catch Dan at his upcoming Union Hall show, "Comedians with Books," which is going down on September 19th at 7:30PM, and will feature Janeane Garofalo, Ted Travelstead, David Rees and more!