How do people select a book? Well, I know it’s intensely private. Books are sharp. Readers look at them from every angle, examining especially carefully the blade.
Books, like any tool, fulfil a purpose if they are good enough. They can remove (with one sweep) a lifetime of tiring and inaccurate responsibilities. And, they can move inwards to the core of beliefs, at best an uncomfortable and confronting experience. For instance, I read Ethan Frome, and realized that I was normal. Only a blade can do this.
Readers come to the shop and pause over books for long periods of time. There is always this pause. Then they decide and carry the book to the counter.
I am respectful no matter what the book is.
I once chose a book called No Go, the Bogeyman (after a pause). I haven’t read it yet. It’s a history of terror by Marina Warner. The kind of terror that comes softly and sits with you at night. I don’t know why I bought it, but I treasure it.
Painting by Sasha Beliaev