"And then there’s this: if my house were burning down, the one thing I’d rush in to save would be my copy of The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, which I had signed at the first author reading I ever attended, the year that I was 16 and the author was 70. I could discourse endlessly on why my books are in no way improved by my signature, and my words are just the same on the page whether or not I’ve read them aloud. And while I know better than anyone that I am no Eudora Welty, I know how profoundly I was shaken to see her, how I felt that my book had been transformed by the touch of her hands."
--- Ann Patchett
The December 2008 Atlantic has an excellent essay by Ann Patchett on book tours.