Monday, March 1, 2010

Barnes and Noble and me and him.

Primus and I spend a happy hour on Saturday in Barnes & Noble, selecting titles for party favors and inevitably sneaking a couple of items for ourselves into the basket. (I can now boast that I have every volume of Calvin and Hobbes.)

We sit in the cafe with coffee and chocolate milk and pastries and discuss the pleasures of holding new books up to the nose and inhaling deeply, and we agree that there should be names for the various distinct but distinguishable bouquets of books. ("Mystique de McGraw-Hill"?) I still can't resist sniffing my 45-year-old copy of the Puffin "The Story of the Amulet" by E. Nesbit, a tale incidentally that would make a great movie in these CGI days.

Primus is amazed that B&N allows customers to take books and magazines into the cafe without necessarily having the slightest intention of purchasing them. I must admit it, it foxes me too, although I attempt to find the economic justification. He works out how many visits it would take to get through his current favorite trilogy, without forking out for the goods. Finally, he declares that when the day comes to find vacation employment, he wants to work in a bookstore and would do it for a dollar a day. By then, he may have to.

Who says I don't know how to raise a kid?


  1. So what books did you choose for the kids? My Grands are very much into The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Spiderwick, and Nancy Drew (they're 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades). I'm steering them toward Percy Jackson.

  2. All the party-favor books were by Andrew Clements, an Edgar award-winner for his mysteries set in school. Thomas -- oops, I meant Primus -- is heavily into Brandon Mull's "Fablehaven" series, having exhausted Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Eragon. I'm still trying to get him to read "Treasure Island." (He also appreciates "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.")

    I didn't like the Percy Jackson movie that much. It seemed very derivative -- boy with a deprived childhood turns out to have a privileged ancestry that places him apart from his contemporaries, escapes to a place of haven where young people are educated in unusual practices by an older, bearded father-figure, all the while being thwarted by a rival and fearful of the ultimate challenge presented by an evil presence. Yes, it's "Oliver Twist."