Paperback Writer

Posted on April 8, 2015 under Storytelling with no comments yet


I employ the “hunt and peck” method of typing



“And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer”

Paperback Writer – The Beatles

Despite all the advances in technology, there’ still something very special about curling up with a good book.  You know.  The kind that has actual pages; where you can use a scrap of paper or a parking ticket as a book mark.  It has become difficult for authors to get their books into circulation without going head to head with the behemoths in the industry.  And it has also become next to impossible to operate an old fashioned bookstore, heaped to the rafters with books, books and only books.  Most chain stores are bland and antiseptic and cluttered with riff raff.

Molly was an avid reader and a member of her book club, which has been meeting monthly for fifteen years … and counting.  In the lead up to an upcoming gathering she decided to go to the bookstore to purchase the volume that was to be reviewed.  Because she was coming from out of town, she piggy backed her trip to the book store with several other appointments, including an annual checkup with her doctor.

She entered the mall and went directly to Coals, the sole bookstore.  She had exactly one hour to find the required paperback and catch a bite to eat in the food court.   The appointment with her physician would follow.

The last thing Molly recalled before she heard the door closing and the lock clicking was the young sales clerk walking toward the exit with her eyes focused intently on her phone.  She hadn’t noticed Molly, who was at floor level checking a book on the bottom shelf.  It was lunch time and it became abundantly clear that this employee was taking a break.  And it was also evident that Molly was locked inside.  And she was hungry.  Quite hungry, in fact.

What exactly is one supposed to do when they get locked inside a store?  At first Molly was mildly amused by the turn of events, but then she felt her blood pressure rise, ever so slightly.  She worried that a mall security person might see her and call the cops.  She stood at the window and started to wave her arms at the mall shoppers.  They waved back.  She tried flailing her arms to denote an emergency but that yielded similar results.  She grabbed her purse to call someone on her cell phone before remembering that she had left it on the seat of her car.  She thought about using the bookstore telephone but, recalling a recent episode of CSI, decided not to leave fingerprint evidence.

Forty-five minutes later the young clerk re-entered the store.  Her cell phone was affixed to her ear and she was having an animated discussion with someone.  Molly was so distraught by this time that she left the store without buying any books.  To this day, the clerk doesn’t know what happened and didn’t even see her customer enter or leave the premises.

It was only a short walk down the hall to the doctor’s office.  Mercifully her appointment was on schedule.  By this time, her stomach was in full rumble mode and her heart was palpitating.  Her doctor slapped on the blood pressure cuff and was somewhat startled with the reading.  Before she had a chance to explain why she was in such a state, her physician smiled reassuringly.  He knew that Molly was an avid reader, so he prescribed a trip to the book store to help her relax.

Molly’s heart began to race faster.  Does the mall have an electronics store, she enquired?  Perhaps it is time for an E-reader.  For those times when the bookstore is closed.

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