>One of the many ways that I waste time is to obsessively check the status of Off the Beaten (Subway) Track on Amazon.com. Will my name be spelled correctly? (Alas, as of this afternoon, no.) Has the description been updated? (Also, no.) Were the typos fixed? (Yes! Hurray!) Is the cover posted? (Not yet.) What's the release date? (July 1, 2008.) Generally, nothing changes from visit to visit.

Thus it was quite a surprise to discover that Off the Beaten (Subway) Track by Susanne [sigh] Reisman has a sales rank of #249,423 and is 97th best selling book of all the travel books about New York City. How could this be if the book isn't yet available for pre-order? Maybe I was wrong, as I am about everything else thus far.

It was experiment time. When I tried to pre-order the book, lo and behold!, it processed. And I learned I could save an additional 5% (58 cents!!!) by ordering now, bringing the total to $11.53 plus tax (and S&H unless you are an Amazon prime member or the total order is $25 due to other purchases). What a deal! It's the perfect 4th of July or Bastille Day gift for that special freedom-loving person in your life. Yeah.