When I announced last month that I had written a book of my own (called A Book Of Jean's Own! ), I got a few reactions that I didn't anticipate. One was from a die-hard Jeanketeer who said he preordered 10 copies! Was I thrilled! But then I noticed he had also e-mailed me photos of himself dressed in an oversized diaper (he kind of looked like a beakless Baby Huey).
Not sure I get this other reaction: A couple e-mailers said they didn't want me to "sell out." Huh? Maybe they were joking. Of course I want to sell out! Wouldn't anyone who just wrote a book? If A Book Of Jean's Own! sold out, more copies could be printed, which means more people could read it! I would never tell anyone not to sell out. I hope all my Jeanketeers get an opportunity to sell out, whether they do it with their own books or with garage-sale items they've hung onto for a long time and don't need or are sick of, like old bedroom furniture or VHS tapes or a juicer. (By the way, isn't getting rid of something unwanted just about one of the best feelings in the world?)
But it was yet another unpredictable reaction that concerned me the most. It was no reaction at all. The lack of congratulatory pats on the back at the supermarket or sudden surprise parties in my honor was telling. It could mean a lot of things, of course. But my typically strong Jeantuition (that's "female intuition" Jean style!) led me to one big conclusion. I'm convinced Jeanketeers comprise two kinds of people: those who don't have time to read books, and those who fear them. Not that it was always this way. Back when we were kids, books used to transport us to wonderful, exciting places, like happy high schools where everyone was pretty and supportive, or towns where girls babysat a lot. Now, many of us have to work or raise families, and we don't have the time we once did to be sucked into a story. We can sneak peeks at books or glance at the newspaper, but we can't spend quality time with words anymore. And so many of today's book plots are downright downers—who needs that? Plus, they selfishly demand our total, rapt concentration, to the point that it puts you off reading of any kind.
With my book, you don't have to worry. True, it runs more than 250 pages, but it fits very neatly in a purse or shoulder bag. And on each page, you get maybe three paragraphs tops. Some pages have illustrations, which decrease the number of words. Oh, and let's not forget all the nice, wide white space between lines! What's more, there's virtually no plot, so thumb around all you like—you're not required to read from beginning to end. Jump from the table of contents to the middle of the book, for all I care; you can always go back to the parts you missed. And, being a humor book, it boasts the classic Jean lighthearted touch, so no depressing parts to trudge through! (Spoiler: Despite the lack of plot, my book has a happy ending!) I've always dreamt of writing a book just like this, and now my dream has come true!
I write about stuff that matters in short, easily digestible chapters. I talk about the differences between men and women, reveal my ways for coping with the blues, dispense advice to teen girls, share health and beauty tips, and even let slip some of my heavenly chocolate recipes! You learn stuff about me you've never read in any of my columns! It even includes some contributions from Hubby Rick (not my idea, and he's the storm cloud to my sunshine, natch, but he does at least fill out some pages). This is a must-read for both Jean completists and anybody who wants to shoehorn in a good chuckle between underwear-folding and fighting with the spouse!
And you don't have to wait to read this great book, because it's available in bookstores now! (No word yet if Pamida is stocking it, though.)
Here's hoping you fall in love with A Book Of Jean's Own! The only thing I ask of you Jeanketeers is please, no backlash. I'm worried that, as happened with Jennifer Lopez, the public will angrily turn on me out of fears that success has changed or overexposed me. Fear not, people—I'm still Jeannie from the block. I put on my sweatpants one leg at a time (except when it's morning and it's still dark, in which case I might accidentally jam both my legs into one leg!). Let me worry about success spoiling me, and you Jeanketeers carry on with your lives. (That said, I wouldn't mind some spoiling! I'd love to be spoiled rotten—think Calgon bath beads and a box of Ferrero Rochers!)