January 27, 2024

What books do you want to read?

What I would really like to do is read all of the unread books on my bookshelf. There are many. Too many. I should be a better reader, especially considering that I’m the school librarian.

The other day, I went to the bookstore to pick out a new book. Before going, I searched on their website to see what I might enjoy reading. I decided that I’d like to try some CanLit. When I read the descriptions of the books, nothing stood out to me. I then decided to try something on the “New & Hot Books” list. Again, I found nothing that piqued my interest. So, I tried Japanese writers because I’m a big fan of Haruki Murakami. I saw one or two that looked good but they weren’t available at the bookstore nearest me.

Finally, I decided to pick up a copy of In The Skin of a Lion a Lion by Michael Ondaatje. It’s CanLit. It was new in the late-80s. He’s an immigrant to Canada. It checked only one of the boxes I had set out. So, I went to the bookstore.

When I walked in, I picked up a few books that had been laid out on the tables as you enter. I put them all back and headed for the Fiction section, letter “O.” I found a copy of the book on the bottom shelf, tucked into the rightmost corner. I picked it up, read the jacket, and then picked up another of Ondaatje’s books and read its jacket. I took what I came for.

At the cash register, I found out that I had a $20 coupon on my account. Brilliant. The book was $21. “Great! I’ll use it.”

“Sorry, the total cost is $19.85 so we can only redeem $10 of the coupon.”

“Oh? I thought the book was $21,” I said while shaking my head confusedly.

“You get a 10% discount for being a rewards member.”

“Ah! So, I need to find something for 15-cents?”

“You could get a card, or anything else.”

I walked back to the Fiction section, aimless this time. I wandered through the stacks, picking up books and putting them back. Then, I saw one, like a beacon, it called to me: The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt. He’s British, I think, but the book was published just last year. “I’m a librarian, too!” I thought.

I went back to the cash register, with only five minutes to spare, two books in hand.

“After your coupon and discounts, that’ll be $31.02.”


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