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.
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.