I think in the old days, the nexus of weirdness ran through Southern California, and to a degree New York City. I think it's changed so that every bizarre story in the country now has a Florida connection. I don't know why, except it must be some inversion of magnetic poles or something.
Here's my rule: You always want to pay cash for your own books, because if they look at the name on the credit card and then they look at the name on the book jacket, then there's this look of such profound sympathy for you that you had to resort to this. It really is withering.