July 20, 2015

Aziz Ansari continues to leave signed books in his wake


Aziz Ansari is leaving oddly signed books behind him like bread crumbs.

Aziz Ansari is leaving oddly signed books behind him like bread crumbs.
© s_bukley / via Shutterstock

Aziz Ansari is at it again! After leaving a single signed copy of his new book at the Hudson Booksellers at JFK International Airport for a lucky fan to discover, he’s continuing the strategy in Chicago (and possibly beyond).

Kevin Kryah writes for Chicago Magazine that “Ansari has been going around to random bookstores while traveling and secretly signing copies.” It’s not uncommon for authors to visit local bookstores when they’re touring to promote a book, and sign stock so that fans who can’t make it to a reading are still able to get an autographed copy, but it sounds like Ansari’s aren’t being advertised as such—so that lucky shoppers might unwittingly stumble upon one of them. He’s also taken it one step further by personalizing a book at Barbara’s Bookstore, addressing it to Scottie Pippen, onetime player for the Chicago Bulls and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Ansari signed one copy of his book, Modern Romance, with the note, “To Scottie Pippen: I hope this finds its way to you eventually,” and posted it to Instagram:

CHICAGO: I walked in and signed a special “Scottie Pippen” edition of Modern Romance at Barbara’s Bookstore. If you grab it try to lend it to #33 when you’re done.

A photo posted by @azizansari on


He was less cryptic with this book than the one he left at the airport; this time, he named the bookstore (although Barbara’s does have a few locations around Chicago). On Tuesday, Lake View, IL resident Meg Whalen came across the book, and as Chris Serico reports for Today, she came across it entirely by chance, in the Barbara’s Bookstore within Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Whalen says, “Modern Romance is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. There was a stack in the middle of the table, and I just cracked open the first one and was like, ‘This is a signed copy! Oh, that’s pretty cool!’ There were about four copies of the book, and it looked like he’d signed all of them, but the one I had was the only one with that [Scottie Pippen] inscription in it.”

The famous basketballist (that’s the word, right?) was apparently disappointed not to have found the book himself:

But Whalen has very kindly offered to pay it forward should she ever run into him:

Over the weekend, Ansari was heading to San Francisco and Philadelphia for the next stops on his book tour, so if you happen to pass through any bookstores in those cities, you might want to flip through copies of Modern Romance to see if you can stumble upon a signed copy of your own.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.