Monday, May 03, 2010

What If -- Susanna Carr

The other day I was browsing through a new and used bookstore. I picked up a book and paged through it, noticing a very loving inscription to a man from a woman on the inside flap. It kind of made me sad and there I was standing in the store, staring off into the distance, imagining all sorts of fanciful reasons why the book was given away.

I thought, what if this book was sold or donated by mistake? After all, how can you discard something with a beautiful inscription? The man could be desperately searching all the bookstores in the area for the book. Hmm... romantic but highly unlikely.

And then I thought, what if the man and woman broke up? What if he got rid of everything that reminded him of her? That's more of a possibility, but rather depressing.

I don't like that idea. So what if another woman who suffers unrequited love for the guy discovered the inscription. In a fit of jealousy she took the book when he wasn't looking and sold it to the bookstore. Mm... no, that doesn't sound right. The other woman would have thrown it away or burned it.

No, no. This is what happened: The inscription is bogus. It's really a secret code and the creepy guy in the next aisle looking at me is a spy. He has to get the book. It's a matter of national security.

Okay, I'm sure the real reason that the book is in the store is because the man no longer had room on his bookshelf. It's the most logical explanation, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!


L'Aussie said...

I'm always troling around secondhand bookshops, too, and sometimes buy a book with a loving inscription. I always think these people must be dead. Surely they wouldn't part with such a precious object otherwise? Just the rellies couldn't give a toss!

Judith said...

It must take you ages to choose a book with all that speculation buzzing around in your head.
I too love to mooch in 2nd hand book shops (I love the smell!) but I don't think I have as much fun as you seem to. You have a great imagination and we benefit from it, lol.

twin2for2 said...

I love used bookstores. I haven't found anything interesting in a book though. I usually buy an author in a regular way. I want them to make money as much as I want to read their current books. However, when I'm in the mood to browse, or to find something that might not be available anymore, either to the library (and their for sale shelves or to borrow) or to the local used bookstore.

Susanna Carr said...

L'Aussie, that's a perfectly logical explanation why the book was in the store.

I love the smell of old books! It reminds me of the public library in my hometown and I have very fond memories of the place.

Judith -- All I can say is that I am easily entertained. You should see me when I'm taking a walk and people watch. I can come up with all sorts of bizarre storylines for these strangers!

Lois said...

It's funny because I went to one last Thursday, and got a couple of books that I was really excited about, and two of them were signed by Sally Ride (for those not in the know, America's first woman astronaut). . . and one was to a Brian, the other Brian and Michael were sharing. Hmm, well, the only thing I can think of there is that they were going through there stuff (guess Brian LOL) and figured they out grew the books since they are kids books. But I didn't care - they were autographed by my favorite astronaut! :)


Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Susanna,

Love all the "what ifs!" There
are still several possibilities:
what if one or both passed away,
then the survivor/family cleared
away their possessions or what if they lost their jobs/homes and all their worldly goods? Just thinkin!

Pat Cochran

RachieG said...

I love to see inscriptions in books. I work in a library and you wouldn't believe the number of books that are donated with inscriptions. I love the inscriptions from the early 1900's. Christmas presents are the best because you can kind of picture the scene in your head.

Great post!

des fraises et de la tendresse said...

Dear Susanna, dear readers,

Susanna's very kindly agreed to have this post translated and published on our E-Blogs project (European Review of Blogs). As for me, Having translated 12 romance novels (into French), I'm more than happy to do it again, for this lovely short piece.
If you wish to be informed of its publication on the web, here's my e-mail : laurent.delpit[AT] & my Twitter account @_ohlebeaujour (with which I've just started following UK-blogs-worth-a-try (Tote 'n' Bags is of course one of them ... Does Tote Bags 'n' Blogs have Twitter?)