The Human Mind that Reads…

Sean Brown

This morning in the shop,  a young man asked me for a book on how to be a good dad. He thought there might be one called exactly that: How to be a Good Dad.

I said I did not have anything like that. He said he just wanted to be prepared when the time came. I said that I understood how important that is.

Then he described how much he wanted to read books to the baby, all kinds of books because that is how he grew up. There were books everywhere and he was going to do exactly that for his children too.

He had just finished renovating his home and his partner suggested he needed a rest and to get back into reading again. As it was the best thing for the tired mind. He came back to the counter with a book by Sonya Hartnett which he said was the very thing for his afternoon in the hammock.

I said good luck with everything.

Leon returned to pay another dollar on his next Twilight novel and reminded me not to sell it to anyone else.

Peggy brought me some paperback novels for the shop, which she told me were all absolute rubbish.

Robert has arrived with a request for me: I’m putting an article in the Argus….would you just correct my spelling here and there. I’m writing about Tony Abbot because I think he’s a galah.

Then he ordered a copy of The Gnostic Mysteries of Sex by Tobias Churton

Dale is here: My friend read a book by a Dutch writer, about a ship called The Star of Peace. It is a ship that…..(he bent his head to find the correct words)……a ship that transferred the Jews……I want to read it. It had a plastic cover. Would you be able to find it on that computer thing of yours?

I said I would have a good try.

Peggy came back because she had forgotten to tell me that the trouble with Margaret Atwood is that she goes on and on about things.

Maye visited to pick up the books she ordered for her reading group. She said that there are terrible arguments going on at the moment because nobody can agree on anything. They are going to read The Mockingbird Next Door which is about Harper Lee. Margaret confessed to me that she didn’t even like To Kill a Mockingbird anyway but she daren’t say it or she’d get her head knocked off.

Gareth picked up his copy of Dearest Munx: The Letters of Christina Stead and William Blake, which he said was going to be sublime.

Tia ordered a copy of The Nun’s Priest’s Tale by Chaucer which was a gift for their church organist and would be a ‘good joke’. She said that the organist would understand it but nobody else would as none of them had read anything decent in their lives.

A customer told me this: I am reading The Janitor and it has made me cry. I was up all night.

Do you mean The Street Sweeper?

Yes, that’s the one. By Daniel Pearlman.

Eliot Pearlman?

Yes, that’s the one. In Detroit, that little black girl…….that old woman, I just can’t handle it. I love it.

When Gareth picked up his copy of Dearest Munx he also told me that books reveal themselves in layers, like the human minds that write them. And that there are thousands of layers… indeed, with some books, the greatest ones, there may be no end to the coatings of meaning and this is because of the human minds that read them.







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