Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Market for 28 Page Books

Miss Prothero's Books has a graffiti board in the bathroom. My entry on yesterday's board was --

I resolve to...

Someone wrote back --

read more books this 2008 but if they don't capture me in the 1st 28 pages to give them away.

Hmmm. I had to wonder about my respondent. I'm not sure I'd want to be the recipient of one of her unengaging presents. And how many books would she miss out on because the really sexy part began at page 29? She certainly would have missed Tristam Shandy's birth. And why do any of us think we need a book that will capture us, take us hostage, shout at us and beat us, bind and gag us until the bitter last page? What's wrong with the book that only wants to have a conversation?

It's cold and snowing still. I think I'll go home and have a long conversation with a book.

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