This morning I went clothing shopping. I was out of the house for 3.5 hours, and returned with a full backpack. No clothes, though; just books.
It was a really good day.
Started at my second-favourite bookstore where I didn’t find what I went in for, but did find other things I needed. Went on to St. Vincent-de-Paul and three garage sales, and ended up at my Absolutely Favourite second-hand bookstore (Turtle Creek Books, for those of you who live in Port Credit; Denise has been my pusher for years). I did find the things I needed there. Funny, I always do… including the Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti, which has been there for a long, long time, and she still hasn’t lowered the price, and I may be forced to justify spending $40 on myself… which is not impossible nor unheard of. (I got hooked on Sacco and Vanzetti as a teenager, when I heard Joan Baez’s song about them. In Grade 13, when we had to write and perform a play for our final project in Drama, I wanted to do a play about Sacco and Vanzetti; the teacher was all in favour but none of my classmates went for it. Instead, I ended up writing a play with one other girl, ’cause no one else wanted to work with us, and the play was wickedly cool and made our principal get so upset his toupe slipped sideways. The title of the play was The Daughters of Nemesis, and it included – please remember we were still teenagers – lesbianism, anarchy, suicide, the occult and classical allusions. )
Anyway, I now have lots to read, and lots of new stuff for my students.
While I was paying for my books at my Turtle Creek, a woman came into the shop and started browsing the shelves. When Denise asked if she needed any help, the woman held up a torn-out magazine picture of some red books. “I need these,” she said. Denise held out her hand for the picture, presumably to see which titles were on the spines, but the woman went on: “I don’t need these books, specifically, just some red books that look good. It’s for decorating.”
Kudos and brownies points to Denise, who went through the entire transaction without cracking so much as the tiniest smirk. I’m not that good; I had to get out of there. Fast.
I suppose I do “decorate” with books; almost every wall in my apartment has a bookshelf on it. I even have piles of books that I think look really good as a pile – complementary colours and all that. So you can go ahead and call me a hypocrite. I’m alright with that.
Tonight’s agenda involves searching for a sucker to publish a 9 000 word story. It’s a really good story, I think, and it needs a home but I haven’t been able to find one yet. Magazine editors have a lot of rules, and a lot of the rules involve 5 000 words or less.
I expect these editors may decorate their houses with red books.