Can $700 for a book with no words really be called...
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Nov 21, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Can $700 for a book with no words really be called charity?: DiManno

Seven hundred bucks? That takes moxie even if all profits are going to charity, writes Rosie DiManno

OurWindsor.Ca

I am not a leggy 5-foot-11.

I have not weighed 125 pounds since one acutely heartbroken and food-averse week — right on my 40th birthday — when the fellow I’d set my cap for suddenly upped and married somebody else. (He’d suggested a continuing sidebar arrangement which a wry friend describes as “married but dating.’’)

I’m not sleeping with a star quarterback.

And I certainly didn’t haul down $44 million in salary last year.

But supermodel Gisele Bundchen and I now have something in common. We’re both published authors.

(Further in the distant past, I was a teenage hosiery model for a wholesale company, which basically entailed walking back and forth in front of creepy salesmen whilst wearing a micro-mini skirt. That gig went toes-up as soon as my mother found out.)

Of course Gisele’s limited-edition coffee-table book is priced at $700. My Pat Burns biography had a sticker tag of $32.95, sold quite well and is still (as I delightedly discovered when ripping open the mail this past week) bringing in residuals.

The book I whelped over two-packs-of-smokes-a-day actually contained words, some 100,000 of them. Gisele’s opus is a picture thingy — like the world is short on photographs of the most shutter-clicked clotheshorse (and un-clothed clotheshorse) on the planet, a Victoria’s Secret paragon.

So feast your eyes, I guess, on page after page of Gisele posed and un-posed, as captured by some of the most highly regarded lens wielders in the business.

But seven hundred bucks? That takes moxie — gobsmacking vanity — even if all profits are going to charity.

Apparently there’s a niche market for it. The first publishing run — 1,000 copies printed — of the 536-page tome (again, tome suggests WORDS; Gisele’s eponymous titled door-stopper satisfies itself with fawning tributes) sold out in 24 hours when released 12 days ago. And Gisele has been on the promo circuit, scoring a full hour of riveting conversation with Charlie Rose on PBS, highbrow territory.

Rose: “It’s a heavy book.”

Gisele: Yes, I was trying to get people exercise, because it’s very helpful for exercise. You know, it’s like utilities, more utilities — not just pictures but an exercise tool as well.”

Okey-dokey.

I am reminded of Madonna’s hanky-spanky foray into book publishing from a couple of decades ago: A cover-to-cover (and the spiral binding was aluminum, intended to resemble a shiny condom wrapper) indulgence in prurience and exhibitionism titled Sex. The silly panorama of erotica (marketing tie-in to her Erotica album) was priced at $50 and hit the New York Times best-seller list.

But then, so did Fifty Shades of Grey. And anything by Nicholas Sparks.

At least Madonna does something, however dimly you might perceive her musical oeuvre, other than stand there looking gorgeous.

Mannequin moolah: $44 million for Gisele, a.k.a. Mrs. Tom Brady, in 2015, according to the recently released Forbes list of the world’s most handsomely remunerated glamazons.

About $352,000 per pound. Or about $620,000 per inch.

Well good on up-from-the-Brazilian hinterland Gisele, whose projected career durability, after 20 years on the runway, may be even less than that of her football-stud husband. (Tabloid tom-toms claim Gisele has already undergone facelift and breast-lift. (Gisele, to Rose: “Gossip is a very low vibration energy. And if you choose to focus on that energy, which is a free wheel world, everyone can focus on whatever energy they want to, that is the energy you’re going to create more of in your life.”)

Let me write that down. Oh, I just did.

Athletes and models. They go together like ham and eggs, bangers and mash, cakes and ale — none of which would ever pass through Gisele’s puckered lips.

The millennial catwalk striders and photo shoot seductresses are already nipping at Gisele’s stiletto heels. Mono-browed Cara Delevingne, 23, is tied for second on the Forbes fiscal depth chart, albeit raking in a measly $9 mil.

Recall the toss-away line by Canada’s own Linda Evangelista: “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.’’

Last I saw of Evangelista, she was busted down to the decidedly un-couture windows of the Bay on Richmond St.

It must be awful hard, watching your gloss shine dim with every crow’s foot and frown line, though the captivating Kate Moss still brings the allure on the wrong side of 40 — her career unaffected by gotcha pix of cocaine-ripped dishevelment.

Gisele claims her quite protracted popularity as go-to face and body has been all down to, er, personality. And work ethic.

Now she wants to do good works. Cut a cheque for $1 million for Haiti relief, for example. Has been appointed a UN ambassador for the environment. “I want to be in service in some form, you know, bring more consciousness into the world somehow. I don’t know exactly what for or shape that’s going to be.’’

Probably not ambassadoring for the World Food Program. The optics would be poor for a stick-insect.

Back to the book. Seven hundred smackers for a self-important photo portfolio is cuckoo steep, a .0001 per cent-er frill disguised as philanthropy.

And I love books. Would, if I had the dosh, invest in a bibliophile’s collection of printed word antiquities.

The most expensive book ever sold at auction went for $30.8 million in 1994: Codex Leicester Leonardo da Vinci.

Buyer: Bill Gates.

Loose-leaf journals mostly of a scientific nature, written in his signature quirk mirror cursive (backwards) by the brilliant Renaissance artist and mechanical engineer, who, when not painting such priceless masterpieces as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, conceptualized helicopters and cannons and diving suits.

Da Vinci never got around to inventing the bikini. Or Victoria’s Secret angel wings.

Mea culpa: In a Nov. 9 column, I got my ancient Greeks mixed up. It was Thucydides who wrote a history of the Peloponnesian Wars; Herodotus wrote about the Persian Wars. I didn’t cover either of them.

Toronto Star

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