Sunday, September 18, 2011
And you know how you conjure in your addled, overextended, tired gray matter exactly the book you want to read? Kinda like this:
"It should be witty," you tell yourself, "and intelligent. Sweet and funny. It should be romantic and full of heart," you say, with an emphasis on the word heart. You can hear the italics as you talk to yourself, because those italics are important. "And soul," you continue, upping the ante to italics and boldface. "It should be about best friends, and real life conversation, and the kind of guy you'd marry because he falls in love with you purely on the basis of your repartee."
Then you sigh.
And you think about how you desperately want to see something in your local bookstore that is not about vampires, unless it's a retrospective summary of Dark Shadows, 'cuz that would at least bring back some fun and merry memories, but, y'know, all that current vampire dreck is unreadable, so you go back to conjuring the perfect book for this week's reading.
"It should mention the Indian Hills theater in Omaha -- yeah, that's it -- and it should have a full and complete understanding of the tragedy that was the demolition of that building. It should -- no, it will -- wholly grasp that one can grieve the passing of a movie theater. That movie theater. Moreover," you say to yourself -- and you're talking much faster now, because you're on a roll -- "if it's really the book I want, it will totally get the fact that Tom Cruise isn't actually attractive at all, but that Tom Cruise movies are generally enjoyable."* It is dreadfully important that your imaginary-perfect-book-for-this-week gets this factoid of life.
And then, once you've conjured this book, you know how you hope that that book is, in point of fact, out there somewhere? Because you're really in the mood for that book. You want it to be a book you'll call your sister about and say, "Kathy! You have to read this book with your book group! You guys will lurve it!" And you don't want to have to write this book yourself (eh, yeah, as if you could, because as everyone knows, you are really only the second wittiest.) But you just so desperately need something to read right now that isn't ugly or cynical or political or stupid.
And so one day you pick up the Omaha paper and you see Rainbow Rowell's column and you're reminded that, oh, yeah, she wrote a novel. And it sounds really cute. And ... oh, my gosh ... it could be that novel.
And so you get your hands on it.
And guess what?
*See p. 39. And all the rest of the pages while you're at it.
(For grown-ups, by the way. Language -- just thought you should know, in case such bothers you.)