I love going to a bookstore,
Between that and the library,
well, I could easily spend a day in either one of them.
I recently visited
Books-A-Million while my husband headed over to a nearby Office Max.
Once inside, a friendly clerk led me to the reference section, and I
eagerly followed, looking forward to perusing their how-to books on
A short while later, my
husband’s voice drifted across the aisle. “Gloria.”
Do you remember the old K-Mart
commercial, when the guy was looking for his wife in the store? Well,
that’s when my husband started calling me Gloria, but he does this only
when we’re shopping.
I wonder why.
By the time he reached me, I had
five books stacked on the floor. Of course, I needed every one of them.
“Doing any good?” he said.
I pointed to my pile, pulled
another one from the shelf, and cracked it open.
“Okay, I’m going to look for
some pottery books.”
“Just hang on a second. After I
finish with this one, I’m done.”
After reading the back cover
blurb, I attempted to check out the opening pages, but the font was too
small. I slammed it shut. Even if ophthalmologists produced quadfocals,
I still wouldn’t be able to read the blasted thing.
I picked up my selections. Where
had my little dumpling gone?
Oh, yes, something about
I strolled down a few aisles,
lugging my newfound treasures in my arms, and called out for him.
As I turned a corner, I came
upon a man, but it wasn’t my beloved. He cast me an I’m-not-your-honey
I winced. “Sorry.”
Judging by his attitude, I think
the little booger thought I was trying to hit on him.
I wouldn’t call out for my
husband anymore—obviously not a good idea.
After roaming the far side of
the store, I spotted him. “Any luck?”
He held up a children’s book.
“No, but I found this—for the kids at church.”
“You’re a good man, Charlie
Brown. That’s so nice of you.”
And it was. I hadn’t thought
about buying books for the kids.
“What about the pottery books?”
“I haven’t seen any.”
“I’ll find some.”
“Deb, they don’t have them. I looked.”
The poor man can’t see his socks
in the drawer when he’s looking right at them, either.
I waved my hand, like a Price
Is Right model when displaying valuable prizes. “Have you
seen the size of this place? They’ll have something.”
I flagged down another friendly
clerk who showed us to the right section.
I plucked a book from the shelf.
“What about this one?”
He took a quick glance at the
I continued searching, setting
aside my books.
He grabbed a book, studied it
for a few seconds, and closed it. “This is what I’m looking for.”
“You haven’t even looked at the
rest of these.”
“Don’t need to.”
That’s the difference between
him and me. The man knows what he’s looking for, finds it, and then
Not so much. Part of the thrill
is investigating everything I see.
“You ready to go?” he said.
“Got everything you need?”
I didn’t really need
anything, but who could turn down a good book on writing?
My husband could, that’s who.
“Yes, I’m ready.”
He eyed the books in my arms.
“Here, let me carry those for you.”
Did I mention he’s chivalrous
Since he had only a couple of
his own, I gave him a few of mine.
We headed to the front of the
When we neared the checkout
counter, tons of books sat on display, all of them priced at fabulous
bargains. Don’t look, Deb.
A giant hardcover book, with FBI
written on the cover, sat on a table in front of me.
I dropped my purse on the floor,
set my other books down, and inspected the contents. Very
“I thought you were done.”
“Yeah, but look at this.” I
held the book up so he could examine the cover.
“Why would you want a book
about the FBI?”
Good question. Why would I?
“For writing. It would be great
research for a mystery or something.”
He shrugged. “It’s only $12.99.
Go ahead and get it.”
Guilt, along with a dose of
foolishness consumed me. I’d never written a mystery. “No, I think I’ll
We set our books on the checkout
counter, and the clerk greeted us with a friendly smile. “How are you
I smiled back. “Great, thank
He addressed my husband. “Would
you like an extra discount, sir? If you purchase one of our cards—”
“Talk to her.” My husband
crooked his finger in my direction.
“No, thanks,” I said.
The clerk nodded. “No problem.”
Excitement flowed through my
veins. I couldn’t wait to read my new books.
The clerk rang up our purchase.
“That’ll be one hundred eighty dollars and—”
“What?” The room suddenly spun
around me. “Are you sure that’s right?”
Why is it so hot in
“I mean, you don’t discount the
retail price at the register?”
“No, but if you purchase the
card I offered—”
I didn’t want the card.
And I no longer wanted the
books, but how could I tell him that?
Spit it out,
Anderson. If you don’t, you’re going to be sorry.
“I’m sorry, but I’ve made a
huge mistake. I didn’t realize they would be so expensive.”
“You don’t want them?”
He remained cordial, but I
sensed I had upset him. “I apologize, sir.”
He deducted each one, set them
on the counter behind him, and gave us a new total.
Regret filled me as I eyed the
books. I should have at least written down the titles.
Should I ask him?
I should have bought a book on
It’s just that I love writing,
love reading anything I can get my hands on when it comes to this
craft. It’s like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, which I also enjoy
But I’ve already taken several
writing courses, not to mention the numerous books I’ve purchased, so
why do I want more?
Because I seek knowledge.
In some ways this is a good
thing. If I ever come to the point where I think I’ve arrived, well,
then I’m really in trouble.
No matter what, I’ll continue
to study this craft—I can always learn something new—but I’ll take a
different approach in the future.
I’ll have my husband put a
leash on me the next time we go to the bookstore.