The Back of the Book

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”

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Mumsy says:

    Well, now sweet Ian if I knew how the book was going to end then I would have no interest in it at all. I like to read and build up to the end. I have to admit there are a few time I have been so anxious to see how a book ended that I was tempted to check out the ending but restrained myself.

    I have chosen a few books to read without having any input from what others thought of the books but most times the books I read come recommended by someone.

    I don’t read books as much now as I did because now most of my reading is done online proofreading genealogy updates that my sister posts on her huge genealogy site. I do still read a book occasionally though. I love history, mystery and feel good stories. Enjoy those bookstores on the shopping trips. I wish I didn’t have to shop, I would much rather spend the time in the bookstore like you do. I dislike shopping. Hugs

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    1. Hi Mumsy and thanks for your comment. The back of the book tells me enough to whet my appetite. I hate those books that finish without a conclusion, and there are some like that. We are enjoying a visit from our eldest daughter and her family from Connecticut. They make this pilgramage to Australia once in a year and we love spoiling them and our grandchildren. It’s the highlight of the year for us and it beats a good book everytime. lol.

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  2. jamesfee1 says:

    Hi Ian, I know that there was a very faded instruction at the bottom of the descriptive page which said “do not respond” bit, it was faded and when I am instructed to not repond that is like waving a red cape in front of a bull’s nose!! I found the advice given in “choosing a new booK” to be the most off beat information I have ever been given.
    At first I laughed LOLLOLLOL then when I simmered down I gave that bit of advise; look at the cover, look at the short “gems” of advice on the values of the book, but then LOOK at how the story ends!!
    Now, that is a stunner. Why didn’t I ever think of that?? What a marvelelous tactic to insure that you know the book is worth your while in taking home to read!! I will do that the very next time I visit the book store to choose something that will really hold my attention as I read it!! No, it does not ruin the end of the whole event for me – now I want to see how and why the writer got to that ending!! Which is exactly the “trap” that you laid for me – my old friend.
    You and “Joe” have a lot more in common than you will ever dream about in your philosphy of life! Me Buckoo, Arrgghh!!
    Cheers, Jim the Fee

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    1. Hi there James. I have no idea why there would be something that says “don’t respond”on my page. I welcome responses and I do not see that anywere on the screen I’m looking at right now. So be my guest and respond any time you like. We are still enjoying the visit from my daughter and family from Connecticut so I’m not on line much these days. The grandkids have taken over all the computers. lol.

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