At the library the other day I overheard a fellow reader talking to my friend about a book she’s reading, a little thing she called “that Fikry book”.
My ears perked immediately while a smile crossed my face.
Oh, how I love that Fikry book: “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Danielle Zevin. It’s the year’s most perfect book with not a wasted word, a great storyline, a wonderful cast of interesting characters…I could blabber about it for days. (In fact I have…)
While musing to myself, bathing in my giddy pool of literary love, I listened to the reader continue with wide eyes and a surprised tone, “It’s turned out to be a good little book.”
Thinking to myself, “Ha! She’s joking, underplaying the book, she’s so funny…” and I swing around to look across the room and catch the reader’s face. She sees me and nods as if I, too, think the little Fikry book shockingly, astoundingly, against the odds, turned out to be a good book!
Since I had too much distance to cover to sprint, leap, and pummel the woman to the ground screaming, “Take that back! You don’t know perfection! You call yourself a reader??”I left it to my friend. I fully expected her, the one directly in front of the so-called reader, to fly over the counter and beat her down.
Did either of these things happen? No. My friend nodded kindly and allowed the woman her freedom as well as another stack of books to eviscerate with her poor judgment.
I reached my friend just as the door swung closed behind the Critic au Jour.
“What the…whydidn’tyoutakeherout? Didyouhearwhatshesaid? Andshelivedtowalkoutthedoor??”
My friend chuckles a little as she casually looks up at me and drawls, “She reads Nora Roberts.”
We both had a hearty guffaw.
And then when my friend was away from the counter I deleted the reader woman from the database.
I’m kidding! She’s still a member of the library, don’t call the authorities.
And no offense to Roberts. The Reader Who Must Not Come Back said, “Nobody writes like her!” as she unknowingly fled for her life.
I muttered, “Except J.D. Robb.”
As librarians oft spake: “For every reader there’s a book, and for every book, a reader.”
And yes yes yes, I’m a book snob and I know it and that’s the first step to turning into A Literary Curmudgeon. Sweet! I’m halfway there.