Graduations, weddings, bail hearings-spring always brings with it a plethora of occasions appropriately marked with a gift. I have a long list of presents to get and since I solve all my problems with books I am headed to the bookstore. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but my road to the bookstore is paved with printed, notarized statements promising myself I will not buy one more book. My picture hangs, poster-sized, in every marketing department of every bookstore in America. “Make her happy”, the head of marketing tells interns at orientation while pointing towards me, “and we’ll always make our stretch sales goals.” But today, I am not shopping for me. I won’t buy myself ANYTHING. It’s about willpower and…um…just willpower, I guess. And iron will. Which I have in spades! It will all be GREAT.
Mystery/Crime Fiction section first! Because nothing says “Congratulations and Best Of Luck!” like a book about a serial killer who psychologically terrorizes people by using psychology.
Me: oooh new thrillers
Book: Pick me!
Me: “This year’s Gone Girl”
Book: But I am way stabbier
Me: chill out book
Book: I WILL STAB YOU
Me: I’ll take it
Ok, one book for me, but hey- I’m not going to give a murdery book as a gift. That is tacky. Let’s hit up Contemporary Fiction because you know what makes a great gift? What everyone loved at your last book club gathering. Even if it was Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Me: The Lifeguard’s Wife’s Cousin’s Goddaughter’s Female Friend
Book: Oprah loves me
Me: I’m out
Book: But I have angst and hairstyles
Me: No more books where the title defines the female protagonist by her relationship with someone else
Book: Judgy much?
Me: Does David Sedaris have a new book?
Book: He does. It’s called Amy Sedaris’ Brother
I really love humorous books and I have a collection of them so I’m going to keep this one too. It’s important to add to collections. It’s called collecting and it’s a real thing LOOK IT UP. Maybe I’ll find some good gifts in History. Something ponderous and weighty about the world and how it turns or something.
Me: Oooooh things happened before
Book: Yes, for many years
Me: I want all the history
Book: Be more specific
Me: Speculative medical practices in ancient Babylonia
Book: TOO specific
Me: Ok anything with Teddy Roosevelt on the cover
History is important, so Teddy is coming with me. I’m working my way over to Science and Nature. Inspiration is going to hit me any time now.
Book: A Brief History Of Time?
Me: I’ve already not read that twice
Me: Haven’t read that one at least three times
Books: Here’s one about how science proves introverts are awesome
Me: I’ll take one for every room
Cookbooks! Everyone likes snacks! Cookbooks are super gifty.
Me: ooohhh provincial Portuguese farm to table
Book: ok really?
Me: LOOK AT ALL THE FARMING AND TABLING
Book: NO. Put me down.
Me: I will totally make my own cheese
Book: no you won’t
Me: It’s Portu-CHEESE get it bwaaahahahahaha
Geography and Travel
Me: OMG A GIANT GLOBE ON A FLOOR STAND
Me: (gets tackled and restrained by store employees until I calm down)
One more chance to check off my list – I’m sure I’ll find everything I need in all the fun stuff merchandised by the register.
Me: Origami stationery?
Bookstore: Send a letter that looks like ninja stars!
Me: …send mail that looks like a weapon?
Bookstore: yeah ok that this is not well-thought out
As I stack my books up to pay for them, I swear I hear the tinkling of a bell. I think an intern just got his wings.