How to Sew a Button
How to Sew a Button

A funny thing happened on the way to the bookstore

Last Wednesday, the day after a wonderful book release party in Brooklyn, we headed out to my hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, for my first ever reading at a Borders books. I knew my entire family would be on hand, and thanks to a nice little write-up in the local paper titled, “Parkland Grad Signs Her Book,” I knew some old friends might come out, too.

And of course, we were running late.

Just as we were about to get on the highway, I saw that traffic was at a standstill. So, I veered off the exit ramp to take “the back way” to the mall, but as we were winding around, we noticed a police car (with the lights on) blocking the exit.


So, I did what any self-respecting New-Yorker-in-a-rush would do: I tried to drive around him.

As we start to nose past him on the shoulder of the road, the officer jumps out of his car and waves us down. Having just gotten a speeding ticket a few weeks ago, I slammed on the brakes, threw it in reverse, and then sheepishly rolled down the window.

“I’m not here for decoration, sweetheart,” he says, which set us into fits of laughter. Then, he peeks at our license plate and says, “I know there are cops in New York. I’ve seen shows about them.”

So, I start to explain. “I’m so sorry, Officer. We’re late to meet my family for dinner, and then I have my first-ever book reading at Borders tonight, and I’m just a little anxious.”

He steps back, takes a good look at me, and says, “Oh, so you’re The Parkland Grad? I saw you in the paper!”

“Are you coming to the reading then?” I asked. Nope, he said. He had to work until 11. Then, he walked back to his car, and returned with further instructions. “Here’s what’s going to happen next: They’re going to tow that truck away. Then I’m going to go. Then, you’re going to go. Ok?”

“Got it,” I said, and then to make peace, I handed him a copy of my book.

“Is it signed?” he asked. “You’ve got to sign it!”

So I grabbed a pen and wrote, “Thanks for all of your hard work. xo, Erin” And off we went!

There is a lesson in this: Keep a copy of How to Sew a Button in your car. It may just come in handy one day.

11 Responses to “A funny thing happened on the way to the bookstore”

  1. kathy says:

    OMG. This is the best story ever! Love it!

    Can I get a signed copy too? Are you coming to Portland? Powell’s is the best independent bookstore in the world!

  2. ally says:

    Such a good story! I bought the book today, and I am SO excited to start reading it. (Or really, finish reading it; I read the beginning in the bookstore today as soon as I found it!)

  3. Ally says:

    Funny story! I found your book today, and I can’t wait to start reading it. (I read the beginning in holiday traffic trying to get out of the parking lot, I have to admit.)

  4. Alison says:

    Good one, Erin. If it weren’t for the substantiating evidence of the police car photo, I’d suspect you made this up.

  5. girlichef says:

    Ha!! If it’d been me, I’d surely have gotten a ticket. Definitely a good story 🙂

  6. Michele says:

    That’s hilarious! I’m originally from Brooklyn. I can’t wait to go out and get a copy of your book!

  7. admin says:

    Kathy: Ah, no plans to come to Portland, unfortunately. (At least not yet.) I’d be happy to sign a book for you, though, and drop it in the mail. (I’m out of my copies, so I have to order more from Random House first.) If you’d really like one, send me detes at

    Girlichef: Oh, I usually get the tickets, too. I tend to drive too fast.

    Ally: That must’ve been some traffic! So happy you’re enjoying the book!

    Alison: I have a witness! I have a witness! Also, thanks SO much for posting about my book on your site. I was so thrilled! You rock.

    Michele: Aw, yeah. Brooklyn, unite!

  8. Gladys says:

    I one time got out of a ticket by telling the officer that I was on my way home to have sex with my husband who I had not seen in 3 months. He looked at me then at his ticket book and said “No one has ever tried that one before, you can go.” So in lieu of “How To Sew A Button” you could try that 🙂

    Oh and the give-away for your book went wonderful and I have managed to purchase and distribute one to each of my friends and family who were mad because I didn’t give them the original copy. 🙂

  9. Next book: “How to wiggle out of getting a ticket.”


    Happy new year, Erin!

  10. admin says:

    Happy New Year to you, too!

  11. Samantha says:

    That’s awesome!! LOL

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