Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Tome Wrapped in Plastic

     It's the literary event of the year, and I just had to be a part of it.  Of course, before I knew it was such a big deal, and I didn't think it was, well, a big deal.  The Autobiography of Mark Twain was released a few weeks ago, apparently to a much higher demand than was anticipated.  The story was that book stores couldn't keep it on the shelves, was sold out, and the printers couldn't keep up.  Well, this must be good, and I wanted to be a part of it. 
     In a seemingly unrelated series of events, I decided to turn left instead of right out the Metro station on my way home.  My brain was getting mushy from all the *not-reading* I had been doing, so I wanted to make a trip to Kramerbooks.  I wasn't really looking for a book, but being around them often helps feed my soul.  I stumbled across the Portable Jack London reader, Eating the Dinosaur, and also decided to pick up a magazine for my morning commute.  I had spent at least an hour getting bumped and pardoned, so it was time to leave.  There was a moment when I thought "I wonder if they have the Mark Twain Autobiography," but then considered the fact that huge booksellers were out, and I didn't want to appear to be uninformed. 
     I trudged by way to the line and just before handing the cashier my credit card I looked up and saw it: a tome wrapped in plastic.  Something came over me, and for a brief moment I was that person who casually reads thousand page autobiographies.  "Oh, you do have the Mark Twain Autobiography!  Great."  There was another gentleman behind the counter who was also unaware of their existence.   The lovely cashier (bookseller?) informed him they just came in, and indeed, there was a stack of them "over there" on the floor.  He was probably tripping over them.  The gentleman pulled a copy off the shelf and set it on the counter. 
     "So, this too?" the cashier asked.
     I certainly couldn't say no now, after I made such a to-do about it.  Clearly, it was the one thing I had been looking for all of my life.  "Yes, please, that one too."  I closed my eyes and handed over my credit card, knowing that tomes wrapped in plastic are generally not cheap.  It's a good thing I like cheap food. or in this case, perhaps no food at all.  At least my soul will be full. 

     Also, I'd like to note, this autobiography is only Volume One.  There are two more volumes in the works.  From the grave.  The anticipation is palpable. 

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