Do you hear that? THAT’S RIGHT IT’S SILENCE!!!
We put them all on a plane and after two days of Honey’s intense cleaning we have managed to reclaim half of our house. Thankfully it’s the half we use. The basement sleeping quarters still lay in rubble. It is an area that can wait.
Normally Honey would go at it hard until the job was done but she still had a few days before her return to work and damn if she wasn’t going to enjoy some of them. So after waving good-bye to the family at the airport we went shopping for Honey’s favourite distraction… a good book.
Honey’s passion for reading is surpassed by none I know. But she has discerning tastes and a particular genre, so finding books and authors she would like to read can be difficult. She has burned through 2 e-readers and after other frustrations with the device she has abandoned them and now she reads on either her tablet or the ever reliable paper.
Where we live is also a factor to Honey’s inability to find a good book. The nearest Big Box Book Store (BBBS) is ninety minutes away. This means that Honey’s only source for new titles is the internet. I’m a big fan of internet shopping but unless you know exactly what you want it can be a nightmare to navigate. There are too many choices online to not know what you want. Even though you can narrow down a search, you can’t tell a search engine to find you something new that you didn’t know you’d like.
Stepping into the BBBS is like going to an old downtown city library. Libraries housed in stone structures with high vaulted ceilings, ornate carvings and Elizabethan furniture (the first Elizabethan). The difference is that the BBBS was only built three years ago and is located right next to the Big Box Store. It’s a faux library.
Regardless of appearances, the BBBS is still a store. You don’t borrow books there, you buy them. The cozy seating areas and grand piano that you can play with permission are part of a design meant to enhance the shopping experience. They’re meant to create a relaxed, casual atmosphere allowing their patrons to feel less rushed and more inclined to explore the store shelves looking for a good book. Slow them down and instead of one book they leave with two.
For all the trappings of retail that the BBBS has it still shares one thing that is identical to the library, it has books. Shelves and shelves of books and no Dewey Decimal system! They have the shelves organized by genre so you can go directly to the type of books you like to read. The system is simple and all but the illiterate can figure it out.
Honey doesn’t waste time when she shops, she never has. She’s an ‘in and out’ shopper even at the book store. So she goes up the stairs past the grand piano and the Starbucks, paying them no attention and directly to the area she wants. She browses at the speed of light and before I have picked up any book to peruse she has four in her arms. She holds one up, the one we have specifically come to get.
“They wanted $28 to download this online,” she says to me.
It’s the book she’s been waiting for. The part 2 of a story she read part 1 of a year ago when it was first released. The cover of the book has a big sale sticker on the front, it says $15. Well there you go. Something else you can’t get shopping online, really good deals on really good books. Honey is smiling holding her four new books. We’ve been in the store less than ten minutes! She’s already got four books in her possession! I’m glad she doesn’t get sucked into the store’s ‘take your time and browse’ décor, we’d need a shopping cart!!!
We get home and the books are set aside while we tackle the house. But at a break I see Honey sitting reading her tablet. “What are you reading” I ask. Part One again I’m told. “Why?” I ask. So she can refresh the story in her head she tells me. “Ok,” I reply and let it be. I’ve known Honey too long to believe that this is the only reason why. She is making herself wait just a little bit longer, building up her excitement level by putting desert out of arms reach. She’s setting a mental tone for page one of book two. She plans to savour her good read.
That was Saturday afternoon. By Sunday evening Honey is removing the $15 sale tag from her new good book. “Did you decide not to read the first book?” “No I read it.” It’s barely been 24 hours and she has cleaned, done laundry, watched television, talked to her mother on the phone AND read a 400 page book!! There was also eating and sleeping in there somewhere!! That’s not human!!
On Monday evening I look over at Honey and she is reading one of the other books she got at the BBBS. It’s been little more than 72 hours since we waved BulToo and the little rascals a fond farewell at the airport.
“You’ve finished the book?” I ask
“No,” she replies. “I was reading it too fast, so I put it down. I thought I would read this one for a bit. I’ll finish the other one later.”
Who does that??? That’s like putting a 30-minute infomercial in the middle of a full length feature film! In the theater!! It’s not right!!! I just shake my head and say no more. Honey’s ability to multitask even with entertainment is something I could never do and because of that will never understand. But it makes her happy and that’s okay with me.
She took two more days to savour her good book and when she finished she informed me that the story wasn’t finished, there would be a Part Three. She didn’t seem to be overtly upset over having been left hanging by this author once again. Maybe she was glad the story wasn’t over and continues or maybe it was because she had two and a half other new books to read and decide on whether they were good books or not. Maybe it’s simply that in another four days when Honey’s quest for her next good book begins again, she knows there is a light at the end of her path. Good books are so hard to find sometimes, I guess it’s nice to know one’s coming.
I wonder if I have enough time to learn to play the piano before Part 3 gets released and we go back to the Big Box Book Store…