Sunday, November 5, 2017
I was shelving up in Science Fiction when I came upon it. Three copies, one hardcover, two paperback, but all looking a bit weathered.
"Oh yeah." I thought. "This was once so popular."
It was well reviewed and respected, hundreds of people were patiently (or not so patiently) waiting in line for their chance at one. The library couldn't own enough copies.
Now here were three copies of the book- maybe two too many? Maybe even all three?
The novel sounded good. I thought I might like to read it too, back then, but the line for it was just so terribly long, and though it would have been simple to request, it all seemed too abstract to put my name down on such a long list. And so like that it drifted away.
Now here I am with the sum of our copies, unrequested and undisturbed in their place on the shelf. I take one of the paperbacks down and read all the glowing comments from literati and the press both. I read the enthusiastic plot summary. Then I open the book.
I read the piece of a poem, by a storied poet, but not too storied, on the front page. I read the first paragraph of the book. It is quite good, clear, interesting. I close the book and put it back on the shelf.
And then I continue on my way.