There was trouble ahead in the purchasing line of my neighborhood Borders Books. You know the scenario; you can smell it even before you see it – a single cashier, drowning in a stack of receipts as the concerned-but-clueless customer looks on, mumbling, “No, that’s not it, not that either, no, no, maybe this? no, not yet…”

To pass the time, I browsed the stacks of special books at the front of the store, those prim and prissy hardcovers with their own display tables, those glamorous, oddly-themed (“pre-holiday?”), diorama-ed books that lavishly crack their fat spines as they lounge in clear view of everyone in the store. Sure, books like Ben Fountain’s stunning Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, winner of the PEN/Hemingway award for best first fiction amongst its slew of other accolades, languish in the dusty grotesqueness of the literature stacks, and the whores of the book world – glossy almanacs, kitty calendars, golf how-to’s – tart up the snaking line to the cash register, but it’s the displayed books at the front of the store that always keenly ensnare the customer’s attention.

And what timeless treasure do I find at the first-and-foremost display? Going Rogue, of course, the opening volume in the Sarah Palin oeuvre. I’ll admit it – I leafed through it longer than I ever thought I would. I did, however, feel it necessary to roll my eyes frequently, offer derisive snorts on a consistent basis and turn the pages with a dismissive flick of my wrist just to ensure that no one watching me would ever mistake me for a possible (“pre-holiday?”) purchaser of the book.

Here, I should offer some pithy-yet-substantive review of the book to support my dickish tone. ’Fraid not.

I’m not going to review this book because, one, I have dignity, and two, even reading a fair few pages, I have absolutely no idea what it’s about, save for the fact that John McCain, in a desperate attempt to pop the Obama balloon rising fast out of the air above Invesco Field in Denver last August, chose the governor of Alaska as his running mate. It’s like writing a book about winning the lottery, which I admit might be an interesting read on the underside of a Snapple lid or scrawled into a bathroom wall when you’re, yes, stuck, but to have your own display at this Borders, at every Borders, at every bookstore – both online and physical – in the country?

I’ll give Palin credit – she was mayor of Wasilla, and she did win a gubernatorial election – but when you say thanks-but-no-thanks to filling out the remainder of your term running the state of Alaska and you instead come out with a book and a bus tour to promote said book, I am forced to rescind any credit I may have previously offered, and we’re back to square one: an old guy grabbed her and convinced her to show up at rallies with him; she gave a series of horrifyingly inept interviews on every media outlet possible except Fox News, where she shone with the radiance of the Northern Lights and her policy influence is now limited to using her Facebook page to make up lies about people, places and things (“death panels,” anyone?).

In short, she’s me.

Or you. Or Earl Cubbins. Or Nancy DeAmbriosio. Americans all. We should all have books. At least Earl’s son Truedeau, who just took 15th place in the unofficial hot dog eating contest at school. I’d read about Truedeau.

But I, for one, cannot write a book about my life that would warrant the front display at Borders. I can’t write about an old guy grabbing me due to matters currently under adjudication, I refuse to appear on networks with people who will doubtless be witnesses for the defense in the Hague and my New Year’s Resolution every year is to be less snarky on Facebook when the screen is too blurry to read.

But maybe that’s just me. Maybe Going Rogue will win this year’s Pen/Hemingway for best first fiction. Maybe it deserves the shine its cover glints off the warm lights at the front of the store.

When the catastrophe in the check out line was finally over, I put down Palin’s tome.

“Don’t put it down,” a man behind me advised, rubbing snow off his shoulders though it wasn’t snowing. “That book changed my life. You should buy two, one for the little missus.”

I took his advice, burned mine and mailed a copy off to Margaret Thatcher, that saucy minx.