Monday, June 18, 2007

A not-so-normal bookstore experience...

FYI - Barnes & Noble is my sanctuary of sorts. If I'm feeling down, I can wander the aisles of books and feel like my friends are all greeting me by name. If I'm mad, the nostalgic aroma of paper and leather and fresh print can do amazing things to cheer me up! If I'm stuck in the dreaded, dark world of Writer's Block, just breathing the air can clear my senses and inspire new ideas!

Well, Saturday night, Hubby was out of town, so I decide to spend a little girl time in Barnes & Noble. I eat dinner with my parents then head off, solo, to my favorite home-away-from-home, idea notebook firmly in hand. I wander the aisles, make a few notes, jot names of publishing houses I didn't recognize, etc. Just doing my thing. I reach the YA section and see a publisher I thought to be solely Christian. Excited to find a YA Christian book in the middle of the secular section, (my B&N store segregates! I'm determined to ask them about that one day) I eagerly pick it up and flip pages...

Right to a graphic love scene and the repeated use of the "F" word.

WHOOPS. I quickly toss the book back onto the shelf. My mistake! Not a Christian line after all, apparently. Feeling stupid, and somewhat corrupted, I restrain from yelling "MY EYES!" and hurry to the children's corner, deeming it "safe". I'm leaving my friend a voice mail about my humorous, though somewhat depressing mistake (HELLO, that content was in a YOUNG ADULT book!!) I stumble across one of my favorite childhood series - The BabySitters Club! I notice they had created a new cover for the beloved set, so I pick one up and again, start flipping pages...

And realize the entire book is a cartoon.

They've made my favorite childhood series into a CARTOON!!??!! Complete with stick figures and dialogue bubbles. Again, I toss the book onto the shelf and try not to scream. What was the world coming to?

Seriously disturbed, I decide only something sugary and pink will cure me. I head to the Starbucks counter and find a delightful looking strawberry cupcake. Bingo! And only $1.95 (it was huge, and actually stuffed with real strawberries) Score! I buy the cupcake, and with my notebook tucked under my arm, take my plate, cupcake and fork to a table by the window and prepare to destress. I sit down, pick up my fork, open my mouth...

And the older woman in front of me (whom I've never seen before a day in my life) turns around and, dead serious, says to me, "You know, that cupcake is fattening."


I just stared at her. Then, I guess I was feeling somewhat fiesty (afterall, I hadn't actually consumed any of that much-needed sugar yet!) because I did something very unlike me. I stabbed off a giant piece of the cupcake with my fork, shoved it all in my mouth, and retorted "NOT TODAY!"

(Hey, I'm not a bad person, I promise!)

The woman, apparently not offended, proceeds to talk to me about dogs for the next ten minutes.


After finishing off the cupcake (oh yes, the whole thing!) I politely excuse myself and begin to wander the aisles again, though this time, somewhat warily. What would be next? A werewolf jumping around the sci-fi corner? Someone in the travel section hoping to throw up on my shoes? (though, I guess at that point, I was the one feeling a little nauseous myself from the giant "fattening" cupcake.)

Then I found a treasure that made the whole pyschotic trip worth it.

Pride & Prejudice for $5.95. The "B&N Classic" edition, with a really neat cover. Score! Cheered up, I continued to browse in the Jane Austen section (yeah, the gal has almost an entire bookcase to herself!) and found another potential treasure. A book by Amanda Grange, called "Mr. Darcy's Diary." Released this year, its a book in diary-entry format, from Mr. Darcy's point of view. How neat! I found other books similar in style in that same section, but this one by Amanda caught my eye and intrigued me the most. It wasn't $5.95, but I bought it anyway. (blush) What a neat idea! I told a friend later that Ms. Grange must be either a genius to attempt such an addition to a classic masterpiece...or insane. =)

Regardless, I suppose the moral of the story is...fattening cupcakes forshadow good books? Rude women pave the way to rare treasures? Pink sugar can cure disturbances from shady YA books and disrespected children's classics?

I'll let you decide! =)


Erica Vetsch said...

You're a better woman than me, Gunga Din. I'd have smacked my forehead and said, "Ya Think?!" to the cupcake lady.

I hate it when I get shocked by a publisher I trusted. It makes me so leery of anything else they might publish.

Lori Chally said...

Moral of the story: B&N is always a good idea.

Bonus discovery: you have demonstrated that on particularly horrible days certain desserts are mysteriously calorie-free!

The women of the world thank you!!!

Georgiana D said...

LOLOL--I can't believe the nerve of some people! At least you were at B&N; had she said that anywhere else she might have been clobbered! (At least if it were me and my giant cupcake.)

Sally Bradley said...

Yep, I think you've got the moral just right. Sheesh! :D

I've been reading Pamela Aiden's 3 book series on JUST Darcy. I'm just starting book 2 which I hear is while he and Elizabeth are separated so I may have to skim. I'm dying to read book 3 from Darcy's view--you know, the one where they finally figure it out!

Book one was fun, by the way.

TwistedCandles said...

I know what you mean on the book front! It's called a "graphic novel" and they've done the same thing to my beloved Nancy Drew. I hate loathe and despise the things and flat out refuse to buy them.

Deborah said...

hahaha that cupcake lady gave me a good laugh.

apparently i guess words are too hard for kids to read these days. i used to love the baby sitters club books too!