28 August 2011


I never miss an excuse to go over to the Strand and  when I got notified that my requested books were in, that was reason enough to run over. (I know, I know... but they were reasoned purchases.)

I rode the elevator down from the office with a guy who could have been John Hodgman's twin. Same slightly slumped posture, same haircut, nearly the same glasses. (I suppose it might have been the guy himself, but that's an extremely outside chance. Extremely.) He was wearing a brown and white checked shirt and he held the front door open for me. I turned right to cross the street, and so did he. Then I went north, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him again.

"I bet he's going to the Strand," I thought, and wasn't surprised when as soon as I walked in I spotted him up ahead of me. He was heading to the basement, as was I; I bumped into him later ribboning through the Half Price New Hardcovers. I wanted to say something to him the third time, something like, "What are you shopping for?" or "Love this place." But for a couple of reasons, I didn't.

When I go to the supermarket, I don't look at the other customers and think, "They're just like me! Because they also like to eat and prepare their own food." When I am standing in line at a coffee shop I don't think, "That girl also likes iced lattes, therefore we should be best friends." So maybe I shouldn't treat book shopping as any different, it's just another expression of my personality through buying stuff... and yet... I still believe that the books I own say something more critical about me than the contents of my fridge or the dregs in my mug. And that someone would choose to go book shopping on her or his lunch hour, no matter that anyone can do it, says something significant about that person. Maybe my priorities aren't in order.


Anonymous said...

I think you should have said hi! ~Jen

Ellen said...

I know Jen, it's just I didn't know which of my three heads should go in front.