A visit to the chain bookstore

Glen Beck’s A Christmas Sweater adjacent to Samuel Beckett’s Malone Dies.

Multiple books by Nicholas Sparks, no books by Muriel Spark.

Reading bad books is like smoking bad cigarettes. Smoke or read what’s good, or don’t smoke or read at all.

Few people browsing Literature, many browsing Mysteries. Hard boiled sleuths, funny sleuths, brainy sleuths. Crippled sleuths, sleuths of all races, sleuths of all sexual persuasions, sleuths from every corner of the globe. Sleuths from the past, sleuths from the future, seemingly every possible permutation of sleuth…no competitive eating sleuths, make a note of it.

Disturbing chap going through the True Crime titles like it’s the How-To section. Avoid eye contact.

Wide selection of self-help books, yet no Controlling Your Inner Serial Killer book despite obvious need.

No reason to linger in the American History section. Lots of books about Lincoln, none about Polk. No anti-American Revolution books.

No Spooky Tooth in the music section.

Magazines, most about celebrities. Read the New Yorker, just the cartoons, then put it back. A vast selection of magazines about rappers to read while listening to rappers rapping. Read a magazine about bowling.

In the discount section get a coffee table book about sweaters for only $9.99. A surprising number of professional wrestlers have written books, and you can get them for only $9.99.

Sparse crowd in the café. All stare, and seem, somehow, poised to strike.


  1. Do you not think that the anti-American Revolutionary cause has been somewhat overtaken by events?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Not if you view events of 233 years ago as being relatively recent.

    To be serious, it’s not about undoing the past, it’s about adopting certain views to escape the image of the present.

  4. The British Empire will rise again!

  5. Gerard York26/3/09 6:02 PM

    I am a Spooky Tooth fan too. Please feel free yo join the Yahoo Spooky Tooth group

  6. Yeah, what's with all the sleuths anyway?

    As Larkin wrote: "Get stewed! Books are a load of crap."

  7. You have said what i could not

  8. In this interview Larkin is asked what he reads and he says "I don't read much. Books I'm sent to review. Otherwise novels I've read before. Detective stories: Gladys Mitchell, Michael Innes, Dick Francis."

  9. For slothful sleuth fans I recommend Agaton Sax.
    I never settled for anything less when I was a child.


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