Wine writer Malcolm Gluck had the audacity to question whether Rushdie could possibly have signed as many books as he had claimed, or whether he had just scribbled his initials. According to Maev Kennedy in the Guardian :
Gluck's claimed record is 1,001 copies in 59 minutes, set at a wine warehouse in London in 1998. Gluck achieved this with the help of a team of three men, one fetching the copies, one opening them at the blank page, and another whisking the signed copies away.A crack team of bookstore staff is apparently essential to facilitate the process and Rushdie is apparently right up there in the company of President Jimmy Carter, the novelist Amy Tan as one of the world's fastest book-signers. (Although the article adds that thriller writer Ken Follett could be a serious contender. He signed 2,050 copies in three-and-a-half hours at a book fair in Madrid earlier this year, beating his own record of 1,600 last year at a fair in Italy.)
Rushdie said he had signed 1,000 copies, on his most recent tour promoting the Enchantress of Florence, in a books warehouse in Nashville in 57 minutes.
Btw, I really wish bookshops here would get authors to sign stocks of their books when they are in town! The only author who did this as far as I know was naughty Nirpal. Peter Carey was the biggest one (as far as I am concerned) who got away.