NEW YORK – She only penned her name — no personalized greetings — and signed only two books per person, but that didn't deter more than 1,000 people from filing in to a Barnes & Noble in New York City Monday to get Sen. Hillary Clinton's (search) signature on her new book, Living History (search).
The scheduled one-hour event at a midtown Manhattan bookstore stretched more than 2 ½ hours, as Clinton kept signing copies of her tome and passersby hopped onto the end of the line.
More than 400 people had lined up before the 11 a.m. event at Barnes & Noble, some after waiting through the night for a chance to get a quick chat with the former first lady on the book's first day in stores.
The Democratic New York senator said the event left her hand "a little worse for the wear," but added, "I really enjoyed it and I tried to talk to people so I could actually have a good time."
To handle the crowd, bookstore employees issued wristbands, like those given to rock concert fans. The bookstore had originally planned to give out 250, but distributed more than 1,000 as the event stretched on, said Donna Passannante, a Barnes & Noble executive.
"It ranks up there with one of the top book signings we've done here," she said.
Barnes & Nobles' vice president of marketing predicted the memoir will be the chain's No. 1 nonfiction book of the year. Simon & Schuster, which agreed to pay Clinton $8 million, printed an astounding 1 million copies.
In the book, Clinton revisits the public and private wreckage from her husband's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky (search). She concludes that what her husband did was morally wrong but not a betrayal of the public.
In an interview with Time magazine, which is running excerpts from the book, Clinton is asked if she plans to run for president in 2008, and answers: "I have no intention of running for president."
Some of her fans predict otherwise.
Anne Braudis, 56, emerged from the book signing Monday with a gift for her grandson, who's 4 years old.
"I want to give him a copy of the book signed by the president of the United States — when he's 10," she said.
Two-and-a-half years after her departure from the White House, the public still has a split view of Hillary Clinton. A Fox News-Opinion Dynamics (search) poll shows Clinton has a 44 percent favorable and a 47 percent unfavorable rating.
Clinton will have two other signings this week in Washington. Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Victoria Meyer said the company is not releasing the full book tour itinerary for logistical and security reasons.
Before the signing, Clinton told reporters at a Manhattan hotel that her critics could benefit from reading the book.
"I don't know whether I can change anybody's mind, but I think if people read the book with an open mind they may be surprised, they may learn a few things, they may decide that maybe they weren't given a full picture of what had gone on," Clinton said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.