October 29, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

We’ve heard of pleasing your public, but Robert Fulghum takes itto extremes. Earlier this year the best-selling author (All I ReallyNeed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten) autographed more than 4,000copies of his new hardcover, Maybe (Maybe Not): Second Thoughts Froma Secret Life (Villard, $19), and of the paperback Uh-Oh (Ivy, $5.99)as part of a five-month, 40-city tour. This month, Fulghum, anordained Unitarian minister, may be praying for fewer fans. Hetravels from bookstore to bookstore wearing a wrist brace to ease apainful bout of carpal tunnel syndrome he developed from all thatinscribing. In fact, signings have become so painful that Fulghum hastaken to using a red ink pad so he can leave his thumbprint with hisadoring public. ”People seem sort of pleased to be able to havesomething different,” he says. ”Anybody could sign my name if theypracticed it, but nobody could put my thumbprint on it. It’s one ofthose things where you turn lemons into lemonade.”

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