|[Ben]:||Hoosiers react quietly to memoir ||No discussion found|
The release of Bill Clinton's memoir Tuesday morning continued the long and somewhat-distant relationship between Indiana and the former president.
Unlike elsewhere, there were no long lines at Indianapolis-area bookstores, no early store openings, and, it appeared, no widespread clamor for the former president's 957-page book.
"It hasn't been the barnburner everyone thought it would be," said Tom Randall, inventory manager at Borders in Greenwood.
It's not that Clinton failed to move books in Indiana. His book was selling at a decent pace, said local booksellers, who declined to give sales figures but did report strong preorders.
Shawn A. Humphries was surprised. He had rushed to a Borders bookstore on Indianapolis' Far Northside after hearing about the large crowds that converged on stores in New York and Washington.
Eager for a first-edition copy, the 39-year-old music minister at Mount Paran Baptist Church sat in front of Borders 15 minutes before its 9 a.m. opening. He was the only person in line.
"I had to run out, and when I got here, I'm like, 'There's no line,' " he said.
The muted Hoosier response to the book is hardly surprising. This is a Republican-leaning state that voted against Clinton when he was elected to the White House in 1992 and 1996.
And the former president remains a divisive figure, here and elsewhere.
"I don't think well of his moral indiscretions, but I think he was a wonderful politician," said Mary Stahl, an Indianapolis retiree.
Stahl's comments about Clinton's personal scandals came unsolicited. Like her, many who bought "My Life" at local stores Tuesday felt it necessary to defend the former president, or their support of him.
In Indiana Tuesday morning, the book's release proved Bill Clinton is no match for last summer's literary king -- Harry Potter.
Booksellers recalled the mad rush when "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was released a year ago and predicted Clinton's book would be a more-controlled best seller -- attracting an older and perhaps more-patient crowd. Last summer, stores stayed open past midnight on the day of the Potter release to accommodate customers who just couldn't wait another minute.
"We didn't feel like (Clinton's book) was going to have the Harry Potter-kind of people knocking down the door," said Brittney Dugan, an assistant manager at a Far Northside Barnes & Noble.
Hoosiers react quietly to memoir