Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Romantic Evening

For most couples a date constitutes dinner and a movie or dancing or a play or concert or something like that. For my Bookman and I a romantic evening out is dinner and the used bookstore. How can I not love a guy who walks up with a book I've been looking for for quite some time? I began months ago to look in the nature section for Gretel Ehrlich's The Solace of Open Spaces. It never appeared there but one day a very beat up copy appeared in the travel section. So I stopped looking in nature and would always look in travel, hoping a nicer copy would appear. So last night as I left the travel section disappointed yet again, my husband walks up to me with a very good copy of the book in hand and asks, "You've been looking for this book haven't you?" "Yes," I said with a bit of excited squeal in my voice, "where did you find it?" "In the nature section." We parted ways to continue our browsing. A little while later he finds me again and shows me a copy of An Atlas of the Difficult World by Adrienne Rich. "You've got this don't you?" He asks. "Yup," I reply. "But is your copy signed?" he asks, opening the cover to show me the signature. Again we part ways, he goes to browse the clearance books I to browse the regular fiction. On a bench I spy a like-new paperback of Don DeLillo's Underworld. I have not read DeLillo before but have been wanting to. So I glance around to make sure no one had claimed it then picked it up and returned to my browsing which had brought me to the D's. There I saw a like-new hardcover of the same book and it was $1 less than the paperback in my hand. I think a happy little hee-hee might have escaped as I secured the book in the crook of my arm. Making no further discoveries I wandered into the room with the clearance books. There was my Bookman in the classic book browsing posture, slightly hunched, head cocked to the side to read the titles on the spines. By his feet he had a basket with books in it. I saw the cover of the very same book that I held in my hand and started to tell him I already found it. He pulled it out of the basket and said, "But is your copy only $2?" Nope, mine was $7. I started laughing and asked, "Why did you pick that up? Are you interested in reading it?" "A little," he said, "but I knew you wanted to read DeLillo so I got it for you." My heart got all fluttery. But that wasn't all because from the basket he pulled another book, "Didn't you say you wanted to read him?" And in his hand was The Penguin Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton. My knees went weak. I had mentioned weeks ago after reading something on someone's blog that Chesterton sounded interesting and that I should give him a read sometime. And my Bookman remembered. We took the basket to the cash register and paid for our finds, then made our way home to coffee and a brownie while watching a National Geographic program on tattoos. If that isn't a romantic evening, then I don't know what is.