Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'll Be An Expert

Forgive me for once again merely talking about a snapshot of my day, rather than writing some sort of profound thing about….. something.
But a neat thing did happen at the end of my lunchtime.
After eating a falafel pita and some cream of broccoli soup, [quite the combo!] I sauntered on into the Public Library downtown and thought I would read a bit of my book:
The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood.

Instead, I fell asleep in one of the glorious Library chairs in the lounge area. Just briefly, but with the intensity of a fully anaesthetized rhinoceros.

When I awoke I made my way past a used-book display that had been set up in the foyer area sometime during my hibernation. There were books on carts, and man were they junky. [The books, not the carts.] Like really tremendously bad books. You know?
Titles like “Parasitic Entomology of New York City During The Depression Era” and “Pouring Cement: More Than Meets The Eye”…. stuff like that.
Instantly I had the thought → “Wow! Who is going to buy such utter JUNK?”

And I turned to leave, noticing that on the stairway leading to the second level there were other books, standing upright, covers in full view. [Like this is not a safety hazard?]
And one of these books leaped out of the background, into the foreground. I was startled to see it.
Volume 3 of the Canadian Fiction Studies Series. Circa 1989.
Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman: A Reader’s Guide, by W.J. Keith.
I find serendipitous coincidences like this so uncanny!
I mean, I had the novel itself in my jacket pocket at the time.

I picked up this volume and leafed through it. It looked great.
So I sort of held it up in the air and looked around, because there was no one evidently SELLING it. Just then this wee little old scraggly woman [not very edible] came towards me out of the crowd of people and I asked her how much the book cost.
“75 cents,” she said.
I handed her three quarters.
A small price to pay to find out more about the myriad of symbolic nuance buried in the novel. Even though [as I flip through this recent find] I see that my own reading partner has already been as erudite in her comments as this author is here.
Now, there is no doubt about it. As a result of such dual-pronged expert tutelage, I am going to be an expert on edible women!


Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

I love those spontaneous encounters of the book kind! Envy you a little, not having read "The Edible Woman". Somehow, Atwood never touched my interest as much as Alice Munro, whom I revere. I'm looking forward to future visits,
(who has seen many a serious reader falling asleep at the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, and napped there, every now and then briefly, herself *g*)

cipriano said...

I agree with you, Alice Munro is quite revere-able. I love reading her.
Thank you for tuning in to my blog.
All the best to you.
-- Cip

Stefanie said...

What a fantastic find! I love it when things like that happen. The book gods were smiling on you :)

Bybee said...

Wow, what a great story. It's like the time I wanted a certain novel so badly that I was thinking of it nonstop, then I went to the "freebie" table at the library and looked down & there it was.