Sandra Day O’Connor event sells out in hours

"Out of Order," by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, will be published on March 5. “Out of Order,” by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, will be published on March 5.

Faster than Perry Mason could cry, “Objection, your honor!” Politics & Prose Bookstore sold all 850 tickets to hear retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on March 18.

The event at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC., was announced yesterday at noon. Within 30 hours, every ticket was gone.

P&P hosts a number of high-profile authors, but events coordinator Sarah Baline said the demand to hear O’Connor was almost unprecedented. “It was about on par with how quickly we sold out Al Gore,” she said by phone from the store. “We’re just amazed at the incredible interest and hunger for these events.”

The store sold more tickets — 1,5000 — to hear Justice Sonia Sotomayor talk about her memoir, “My Beloved World” on Jan. 18, but those didn’t vanish as quickly as the tickets to hear O’Connor.

For O’Connor, who served on the court from 1981 to 2006, this will be her first event with P&P. She’ll be talking about her upcoming book, “Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court” (published by Random House, March 5). The $30 tickets include a copy of the book.

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.
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Chris Richards · February 5, 2013