Book Blurb Babble

Another interesting fact about Leaves of Grass is that it was said to include the first book blurb.  In gold leaf on the spine of the book, Whitman included a line from a letter he received from Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “I greet you at the beginning of a great career.” 

Modern-day author Iris Smyles and her publicist decided to host a National Book Blurb Contest for her new book, Dating Tips for the Unemployed.  Everyone was invited to submit a book blurb, provided they had never actually read the book.  Smyles received more than 200 submissions, including these:

“With this book, five bucks for tacos at the walk-up window, a condom and a sleeping bag—you’ve got what we call on the streets ‘heaven on the streets.’ ” —Mark Sutz

“Iris owns a baby snow leopard but I can’t prove it. Someone should call someone.” —Daniel Kibblesmith, writer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

“For a book about tennis there sure isn’t much tennis in it.” —Sarah Peters

“Book’s binding is of decent quality.” —Geoff Schwartz, commercial real-estate developer

And the blurb chosen as this winner was this:

“I didn’t read this book and I didn’t have to. On the cover, it said IRIS SMYLES and that’s more than enough for me. Like logos for Coca-Cola, Fritos, and Entenmann’s, Iris’s name assures me that what’s inside … is so yummy.” —Alec Baldwin*

*Alec Baldwin was paid for this endorsement.