Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Book Rep

I understand why book reps come around. They're trying to sell their texts, especially (for English departments) composition textbooks.

I have a stack of said textbooks on the windowsill in my office. Publishers send them, and when I have time, I take a look, or a friend makes a suggestion and I take a special look, and then I choose a text. Right now, I'm using Graff and Birkenstein's They Say / I Say for my writing class, along with a non-fiction text and some excerpts from education writers. I have no objection to a textbook per se, but I'm not feeling any rush to change.

Today, a rep came by while I was trying to figure something out, and stood in my doorway asking me about my text preferences and what I teach and so on. I told her that I'm using the G&B, and it works well for me. And I told her that I'm too busy to chat right now (yes, I realize that I'm not too busy to write a quick post). And she kept going. Did I want to see the text her company thinks competes with G&B? She said the title, and I picked it up from the windowsill. I haven't had time to look at it. She finally gave up on me.

Frankly, in the early days of the semester, I don't have time to look at new composition texts. I'm trying to read up on the Ottoman empire, prepping a presentation for undergrads on grad schools, reading a thesis, grading, a hundred other things.

Then she came back and started rhapsodizing about how she went to school here. At some point she mentioned her breeding status. Seriously, I do not have time to talk about your breeding status. I hope you're well in a generalized way, as I hope for pretty much everyone, but I do not care.

Now, maybe if she were hawking some hot Shakespeare texts, I'd be more patient. ("Hawking" and "hot" have the same vowel sound for me, so that works in a sort of repetition way. If it doesn't for you, sorry.)

Now I'm off to eat quickly before I go give what I hope is very few undergrads the bad news about grad school.

I'm armed with ADE data and a little bit from the JIL and the new rankings from the Chron. And two of my colleagues from more hopeful fields will come help with questions, too.

1 comment:

  1. I adore G&B, even though I don't really have a chance to teach with it. But I recommend it, especially for our students who're aiming to go somewhere with their writing.

    But book pushers? I usually don't mind them but after they mention their western civ textbooks, they rarely have anything that I can use. *sigh*