One of my favorite pastimes is to spend time in a bookshop. During shopping expeditions with Georgine I confess to becoming weary of craft shops and the dress section of superstores, where GG examines each of these items with meticulous care. After fifteen minutes of that I know its going to be a long haul, so with appropriate excuses gravitate to the nearest bookstore. Georgine knows where to find me when she’s all shopped out, even if my cell phone’s out of range.
There are lots of things to keep you busily engaged in a bookshop. If you’re into gardening and the usual handyman stuff there are whole rows of books for you to explore. Having spent more than forty years in administration and business teaching I avoid that corporate section as much as possible now. I’ve enough books on business in my library to keep me up to speed, and the internet provides all the updates I need. I’m in retirement now, and I want to do more creative things.
I like to look for exciting stories. It really doesn’t matter if they’re real life or fiction, as long as there’s a good story to be read. I like books which deal with historical events, particularly if they have an Asian setting, but a well written story of any description will do.
I work my way around the shelves picking up one book after another. Titles can be enticing, and I suppose that’s the primary reason to pick up a book and examine it. But after taking a look at the titles, and selecting the one most gripping I head for an inside cover or the back of the book.
The inside cover, or back cover page usually gives you the benefit of someone else’s read. Some flavor of the month commentator from the New York Times, or other psudo-expert group pontificates about the author and the qualities of the book. Every book review claims this is the best seller of all time. But it also gives a brief synopsis of the story behind the book, and it gives this in quick gripping style.
I confess to examining the last few pages of every book. I want to know the story has a happy ending and doesn’t leave you up in the air looking for a satisfactory conclusion. I need to be assured of a satisfactory conclusion before dedicating myself to absorbing the message behind the book. I scan those pages quickly before making my decision.
To buy, or not to buy?
At that decision point Georgine arrives with resplendent smile, loot in tow to exclaim, “Let’s go!”
We exit together; she with her treasures of the day, and I with my carefully chosen book.
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2011. All rights reserved”