We've told you about the hard times for Village Books in Pacific Palisades, California, a perfect local bookshop that was a memorable stop on the Tabloid Baby national book tour nine years ago. Big box stores in the area, empty storefronts on the street and other economic woes-- not to mention the quixotic plight of the indie bookstore-- may soon put it out of business. So tomorrow night, Tom Hanks is stopping by to autograph books.
No, he didn't write a book, but he's showing up at 7 p.m. Wednesday night (tomorrow, or today if you read this on Wednesday) to autograph "Tom Hanks-related" books and DVDs (the ads make it seem like he'll even autograph your Artie Lange book, which was strange but nice as well). He'll attract cameras and press and it will be a rally to save Village Books. Maybe he feels bad for forcing that lady to close her bookstore ten years ago in You've Got Mail-- look what happened to her with all the plastic surgery and permanent trout pout-- or maybe someone showed him what we wrote a year ago, when we wondered why a town in which cultural big shots like him reside can't support a bookstore, but more likely he's just trying to help out in town. Hanks is a local and he goes out of his way to be normal. We see him around all the time. at CVS, last week at Panda Express. The only difference between him and a real normal person is that he pays in cash from a big fat wad in a money clip. One of the kids noticed that.
Save Village Books. They're not some big indie like Powell's. They're a little shop on the corner. And they take online orders.
And by the way, Larry David should stop by next week. Then Spielberg, then Steve Guttenberg, then Kate Hudson...