This woman clearly
needs to laugh at the insanity of motherhood and needs a little
encouragement that goes along with knowing she’s not the only one who’s
had to stop the three-year-old from taking the goldfish for a walk...
I need to state clearly, right
from the beginning, I don’t believe in astrology, numerology,
anemology, or most of the other -ologies. But I do believe in something
I like to call cartology.
Here’s how it works: I can walk
through a store and by just viewing the contents of people’s carts, I
can predict what books they need. I actually see myself as a Book
Don’t believe me? Let me give an
example or two.
I see a woman walking through
Wal-Mart; her cart is over three-quarters full. She’s got two packages
of diapers (different sizes), four types of macaroni and cheese, Puppy
Chow, carpet spot remover, and a home perm kit. I can tell you exactly
what kind of books this woman needs.
I would love to walk up to her
and hand her a few novels and maybe whisper in her ear that things will
get easier soon (and advise her to skip the home perm, as no good can
come of that). For this woman, it’s combination therapy she needs. So
I’d start with a Sharon Hinck novel. This woman clearly needs to laugh
at the insanity of motherhood and needs a little encouragement that
goes along with knowing she’s not the only one who’s had to stop the
three-year-old from taking the goldfish for a walk at the same time
she’s Googling ways to get Sharpie Marker coloring off the wall.
Next, she needs to laugh, so I
would hand her a Rene Gutteridge novel. Any Rene Gutteridge novel, but
I’d start with the Boo series. Laughter can make
even house training a puppy when you have two children in diapers seem
Last, I’d hand her one of Susan
May Warren’s Noble Legacy series. Perhaps I’d give
her Reclaiming Nick because with two young children
and a puppy, she probably needs a little romance in her life, even if
it is by proxy. It wouldn’t hurt that it’s about a cowboy, either.
See, it’s not as crazy as it
sounds. Let me give another example. I spot a woman in the linen
section this time. She’s well dressed;
between forty and fifty; and
she’s buying white towels, white sheets, lavender-scented candles, and
the entire Indiana Jones DVD set. I have the
desperate urge to throw two or three great books into her cart as she
walks by me. (I also have the urge to trade
lives for a few weeks, but
that’s not the point here.) From the contents of her cart, I’d say that
she has no kids living at home, and those candles would be great for
lighting around the edge of the bathtub while reading a couple of
thought-provoking novels. I’d start with books by Lisa Samson and Susan
Meissner and then toss in John Olson’s new novel Fossil
Hunter for some of that Indy adventure she’s craving.
Last example. A guy, maybe
forty, who’s buying a wrench, a can of paint, and a Slim Jim. Now, he
doesn’t have a cart, so I’d slip a book or two on top of the can of
paint, but I’d definitely send him home with an Alton Gansky novel and
one from Eric Wilson.
So, I think I’ve presented
enough evidence for my unique gift with cartology. I am the Book
Matchmaker. If you need suggestions, I am available for private
appointments. And if some strange woman comes your way in a store and
shoves a couple of books at you, just smile and humor her. She really
does know what she’s talking about.