I’m not sure why the runaway success of the book Why Do Men Have Nipples? caught its publisher by surprise. I mean, who wouldn’t shell out $13 just to find out why asparagus makes your pee smell funny? Authors Mark Leyner and Dr. Billy Goldberg not only unravel that mystery (something to do with a sulfur compound called mercaptan), but ”hundreds of questions you’d only ask a doctor after your third martini” – which happens to be the book’s subtitle.
Nevertheless, publisher Three Rivers Press only ordered up a first print run of 15,000 copies, so when Nipples scored glowing reviews from Reuters on its Aug. 2 release date, the book was as hard to find as a contact lens under your eyelid. (Leyner and Goldberg even reveal whether or not you can permanently lose a lens up in there).
Little more than a month later, some 500,000 copies have come screeching off the press, and Nipples is sitting pretty at No. 8 on Amazon.com and at the top of the New York Times how-to bestseller list.
Which raises another question: What happened to the 1993 book of the exact same name?