What am I bid?

The Paris Review Foundation is holding an auction to raise money for itself. The auction runs from November 9 at 10:00 A.M., EST, through November 17.

Among the offerings are a bunch of unique, mostly writerly or readerly goodies — signed books and such. There are also events, some more literary (a wine-tasting with Jay McInerney) than others (lunch for four at the Playboy Mansion).

One item caught my eye: “[a] copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas shot with a bullet by Hunter S. Thompson.” This delightful specimen is not featured in the online preview, but it’s listed first in the Paris Review email newsletter. Once the auction opens tomorrow we will, one assumes, get to see a photo and more detailed description of the thing.

Oh, how I’d like to own it. But I predict the bidding will be well beyond my discretionary spending allowance (approx. $13) within seconds.

Disappointed though I am, this gets me thinking. Signed books are so commonplace; a distinctively modified book is much more exciting. I don’t know why I didn’t realize this before. Among the treasures in my library are a copy of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius with a custom, crayoned doodle by Dave Eggers. I’m also fond of the bird-like doodle on the dust cover of Lawrence Krauser’s Lemon.

Of course, signatures and doodles are easier to apply at book stores. And it’s hard to imagine anyone orchestrating a public event that combined Mr. Thompson with a loaded firearm. (Please insert your best “loaded” joke here.)

Still and all, a bullet hole in a book is pretty damned distinctive. And quick.

When I have a book published and do signings, I’ll need a creative means of personalizing them. And I do know how to shoot a gun, you know.

UPDATE: As of 9:45pm 11/14, the leading bid on the Hunter S. Thompson bullet-pierced first edition is $1000. Makes a great gift.