Shenzhen To New York And Back To Toronto

Irshad Manji reads The Great Meeting Room
The Great Meeting Room travel history

Travel itinerary for the advance copies of the books.

Photo of: Professor Irshad Manji, Moral Courage Project

When I ordered my books four weeks ago I had one hundred sent by airmail  from Shenzhen China (two weeks delivery) and the remaining four hundred by ground delivery which is a lot cheaper but adds four more weeks to the order. I ordered it this way to make sure that I had some books in stores before for the holidays plus I really wanted copies to be available in Toronto (my hometown) at Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest operating LGBT bookstore.

Our building superintendent signs for all the packages that are too big to fit into the mail box so I had to get them from him this morning and once they were in the apartment I just let the boxes sit there for hours, unopened, while I did other work. I had thought I would be excited getting the first shipment of books but instead I had moderate anxiety worrying that there might be a mistake that I missed or something horrible wrong that I couldn’t fix. The thing is, I was confident that the book was proofed (over and over and over) but the fact is I did change some things from the last version so while the book has been off at the printers doubt has crept in and made a comfy home. Eventually I got a pair of scissors and opened up one of the boxes, picked out a book and flipped through it just as my dear friend Irshad Manji walks in (she had given me my favourite estimonial for the book) and now by complete coincidence had been staying with us in New York for a few days. She walks in, drops her keys on the coffee table and the very first thing out of her mouth is “Heeeeeeeeeey, are you happy with your book?” and smile I hug her.

I’m really grateful that the printing looks good but now comes the part where I have get these books into stores and so my first job was to email my friend Scott Dagostino, the super awesome manager of Glad Day and ask if I could send him ten advance copies for consignment. Two minutes later Scott says yes, forty-five minutes later I have ten books bubble wrapped and boxed to go out first thing in the morning. Thank you Glad Day, I love that my journey is beginning with you.

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