Bruce Springsteen didn’t read from his new autobiography at an appearance at the Elliott Bay Book Company — and he didn’t perform. Instead, he promoted his book by briefly meeting with 1,200 fans, who couldn’t have been happier.

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It wasn’t a typical book reading, but then the author in question wasn’t exactly the typical literary figure. Musician Bruce Springsteen didn’t read from his new autobiography Saturday at the Elliott Bay Book Company, and he didn’t perform. Instead, he briefly met 1,200 fans, and posed for “selfies.”

Seattle is one of only eight cities Springsteen is visiting to promote the autobiography, titled “Born to Run.” For the faithful, many who traveled from far away, it was a rare opportunity to meet someone they idolize.

Kathy DaSilva, 50, came from Victoria, B.C., with her son. She wore a “Got Springsteen” shirt, and during her moment with him, said: “I’m ready to grow young again.” He gave her a kiss, and she giddily screamed, “Bruce kissed me!”

Springsteen didn’t sign or personalize books at the event. Instead buyers were handed a pre-signed book by an employee, and allowed to shake Bruce’s hand. Still, fans were ecstatic to see him.

“I just want to hear the sound of his voice, and to hear him say my name,” said Brooke Biglow, 36, of Seattle.

Biglow was getting the book as a Christmas gift for her father, though she is a fan, too. “It’s the soundtrack of my childhood,” she said.

Some fans paid as much as $700 on the secondary market for a ticket for the sold-out event, much higher than the original cost of $37.50, which included a book.

For 61-year-old Julie Shapiro, the event was a chance to meet someone she’d seen in concert six times, starting in 1980. “It’s amazing to be right there with him,” she said.

“I’ve never been closer than 300 feet to him before.”

The “selfie” appearance was designed not just to sell books — “Born to Run” is already at the top of the best-seller charts — but to generate social-media buzz.

Springsteen arrived early, and upon seeing the stage said, “I guess that’s my spot.” Disabled buyers were allowed in first, and Springsteen greeted them eagerly with a handshake.

But before anyone entered, and when it was just Springsteen alone on the small riser, he made one remark that none of the 1,200 fans overheard. It reflected a theme predominant in his memoir, that performing is often an escape from real life.

Springsteen looked at the small, empty stage in Elliott Bay’s basement, and made a joke to himself. “Huh. No guitar.”