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Hillary book drawing crowd

By Justin Reedy

Love her or hate her, Southern Crescent readers have taken note of former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's new memoir, "Living History."

The book, which was released Monday in coordination with a nationwide promotional campaign that includes Clinton appearing on talk shows and at book signings, has already started flying off the shelves in Clayton County.

For Jonesboro residents Rick and Sally Page, who picked up their copy of the autobiography on Tuesday, buying now-U.S. Sen. Clinton's book was a no-brainer.

"I admire her," Sally Page said. "I want to find out more about her life."

"She's a classy lady, and she's a great politician," added her husband, Rick. "For her to stay with (Bill Clinton), it's not about politics, it was about holding a marriage together. Plus, what an amazing life."

Booksellers believe that Clinton's much-anticipated memoir will be one of the top selling nonfiction books of the year. Publisher Simon & Schuster, which paid Clinton $8 million for the book, initially printed 1 million copies of the book but ordered another 50,000 copies after thousands of people turned out at a book signing Monday in New York.

In "Living History," Clinton discusses the impact of her husband's romance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and concludes that her husband acted immorally but didn't violate his trust with the American public.

The book has already been selling well at the Barnes & Noble in Morrow, according to Barbara Byrd, the store's community relations manager.

"We've sold more than 60 copies of the book at this store since Monday, which is very good," Byrd said. "We're actually going to be ordering more copies. The demand was greater than we anticipated."

Stockbridge resident Paula Atkins hasn't purchased the book, but she still might do so to find out more about the embattled wife and politician.

"I'm just curious as to what everybody else is thinking about it," said Atkins after shopping at Barnes & Noble Monday afternoon. "I might decide to buy the book. I admire her, because she's been through a lot. She'd be a great role model."

Jonesboro resident Beth Sanders is also undecided on purchasing the book, but is definitely intrigued by Clinton's personal life.

"I think it would be a very interesting book," Sanders said. "I might check it out from the library."

But for all the people interested in Clinton's personal and political life, many others either don't care or dislike her so much they plan on never reading her memoir.

"I don't like the Clintons, and never have," said Upson County resident Jeff Roberts as he shopped in Clayton County this week. "I'm not interested in the book at all."

McDonough resident Trish Burba, who describes herself as politically conservative, goes even further, saying that Clinton likely made up some of the book's material.

"I don't think it's very factual," Burba said. "It probably doesn't portray what actually happened. I don't admire her at all, but it's not so much her politics as her attitude."

And though Barnes & Noble has seen demand for Clinton's memoir, Waldenbooks at Southlake Mall in Morrow has only sold a handful of the books, according to assistant manager Gina Finocchiaro.

"We get a lot of customers who come in and roll their eyes about it," she said. "We thought it would be a much bigger seller than it has been so far, because she's so popular in politics."

But Clinton's book could see a surge in sales later this summer when she comes to town for a book signing Aug. 11 at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead. If that event hadn't been so far in the future, the Page family may have waited until the signing to buy their copy of Clinton's book, but they're dedicated to the former First Lady in other ways.

"If she ran for president, I'd vote for her," Rick Page said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.