I have a confession to make. There's something that, at this moment, I cannot do with out.
It's not booze. It's not drugs. It's not french fries. It's the Amazon.com sales rankings for books!
That's because I am co-author, with my longtime journalistic colleague Jerry Seib, of the new book "Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power," in bookstores for the first time today, published by Random House. And every author discovers quickly that Amazon rankings are the most addictive of substances.
It didn't feel that way when dawn broke on Mother's Day, when based on advance sales "Pennsylvania Avenue" ranked around #3,000. But then we discussed the book on the top-rated Sunday public affairs program, NBC's "Meet the Press," and things changed in a hurry.
By the end of the afternoon we were Amazon's top-selling book on U.S. politics, and ranking #172 among books overall. But the ratings change hourly, which is why checking the website is so addictive.