She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

Lolita and the Book Store

J’adore book stores. Not so much the big box ones, although I will frequent them if that is all that is available. I mean the smaller ones, shelves to the ceiling, full of old editions that smell of age and make me sneeze. I rarely get out of one of these stores without an armload of books, to add to my shelves at home, or the piles on the floor…

So I go into one of these stores before Christmas, one that I had not been in before, in pursuit of a gift. I ask the young woman behind the counter if they have “Lolita“, she says, “Who is it by?

Hoping that what I am thinking is not showing on my face, I say, “Vladimir Nabokov“.

Is it recent?” she asks. I shake my head. “No.”

She shrugs. We go in search of it.

In The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite BooksLolita is Number One on the Top Ten list for books of the 20th Century. Number Three is my favorite, In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust.

This book store, which shall remain nameless, did not have Lolita. Or, at least, I could not find it.

I left without buying anything. A sad day, when I come home from a book store, bookless.

Footnote: The person for whom I was trying to buy the book did not go giftless, however. I bought the Kindle edition of Lolita and had it sent to her Kindle. No sneezing involved.


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