Josh stacks it

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Then, on my final afternoon, in comes Josh, cursed with a passion for reading and a determination that everyone should make it to the end of the day. Standing at the required distance, he calls for a book, then chooses a thousand. It’s too much to carry. Too much to take home, too much to acknowledge, a silent gift made on the bruised edge of what we know at the moment.

I think the bag might break.

Outside, another customer, next to their car, and who had waited their turn.

They shout to each other across the gap of safe air.  The books! The books!

They call the following humble details to each other: ‘Life. Home. The world. This world. Everything’.

The bag breaks, unable to carry the weight of what it represents.

John Banville, Hilary Mantel, David Mitchell, Life of Pi, A Brief History of Seven Killings, Peter Carey, The Map of Love, Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress, The Raj Quartet, Simon Mawer, Halldor Laxness, The Hare with the Amber Eyes, Questions of Travel…and still more, all on the footpath in clear rectangles and unperturbed.

Sharon laughs out loud to see it, sitting in her car boot, about to go home, reading Racine and C. S. Lewis and shouting from time to time, “Oh My God!’.

11 thoughts on “Josh stacks it

  1. The breaking bag reminds me of the pile of books on the table by my chair, waiting to be read or to fall over, whichever comes first. My friends who inhabit the “Book Club” read one at a time and finish…currently I have three in various stages of being read. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My reading plan is to read everything on my shelves I haven’t read yet, but, after I’ve finished the book I’m reading now, will probably read Krakatoa, for the fourth time. I love that book. It makes me wish I’d seen the volcano explode. From a safe distance, of course!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kerry, nice post!

    What happened with that bag was pretty funny. The sheer weight of the book did tear the short rope like chord handles through the side of the bag! Thankfully however the bottom of the bag remained mostly strong and I was able to press on getting the books around the corner and into my car albeit awkwardly!

    I really value your shop and the service you provide. My large quantity purchasing was my expression of gratitude for having you and your books available to the Strathalbyn community. When things normalize, I’ll look forward to walking down from my office during my lunch break again chipping away at your shelves.

    On another note, with social isolation continuing, I took the opportunity to record my collection for the first time. As you may see, a lot these titles came from your store. This collection is becoming pretty reasonable and your help in making top shelf recommendations of books I’d otherwise overlook has been awesome! 🙂

    My list is here:

    (I made the list public so I can share the books here and there with friends.)

    Keep up the good work and stay safe.

    Cheers for now,


    Liked by 1 person

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