Or What Motivates Me To Buy A Paperback…
I rarely buy paperbacks anymore, as I mostly read on my kindle, but there’s one place I always buy tactile books (I refuse to say ‘real books’ all my ebooks are real!), and that’s at airports.
Yesterday I returned home from London after almost a week away from home with my children and grandchildren. Our short stay at Gatwick Airport wasn’t easy with three buggies, three grandchildren under four, six pieces of hand luggage three stressed parents, and two bewildered grandparents, but I managed to get away for ten minutes and run to the nearest bookshop.
The dilemma, how to decide which of the hundreds, no thousands, of books available to choose? Buy one and get one half price, good idea, so I’ll get two, but which ones?
Half the fun is looking for them. I don’t know if everyone does it the way I did, but my process was the following. First the front cover: the title, the cover art, the author’s name, prizes, bestseller component, all counted. Secondly, the back cover for the gist of the story. Thirdly, the first few pages (I mean before the novel actually starts), and fourthly the first page for the feel of it. Amazingly, all this happens in a matter of minutes.
I had various books in my hand and went through the above ritual, until I finally settled for two novels. The first was the latest by Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride. I’m an incurable romantic, I loved The Notebook, so after going through the four stages mentioned, I knew I’d love this book. I loved Mr. Sparks five pages of acknowledgements. He thanked almost seventy people, from his wife to his agent, editor, publicist, friends, family, accountant, readers, etc. for their support in writing this, his seventh novel. Everyone who has ever published a novel knows this is true, there are too many people to name, but he did so, and that says a great deal about the man who wrote the book.
I managed to read about a third of The Longest Ride on the plane, and I’m very glad I bought it, because I’m dreading putting it down, but I’m afraid I’ll have to put it on hold for a couple of days because tomorrow it’s back to work and back to A-Z Blogging Challenge!
The other book I chose was Miss Carter’s War, by Sheila Hancock. I loved the cover, the red dress and those red peep-toes, so irresistibly vintage. When I realised that it was about a teacher in postwar Britain, and saw it compared to the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the decision was made. Muriel Spark was my literary idol for years, and the 1950s have always fascinated me. My parents arrived in London in the 1950s and used to tell me about life at the time. I was born in 1959, on Seven Sisters Road, in North East London, so I feel almost a postwar baby, and certainly a fifties baby! The swinging sixties, also bring a melancholic smile to my eyes: the Beatles, the mini, Twiggy, Mary Quant. I’ll never forget the shock of seeing my friends get short bobs a la twiggy. I was so proud of my long hair, I would never go that far, but I did wear mini skirts and hot pants in the seventies!
If you know what you like and what you want to read, it’s easy to choose and hard to get it wrong. I was lucky enough to find two great books. There were several others, including crime novels, which caught my eye and were actually caressed by my longing fingers for a few minutes, but in the end I chose something less stressful and closer to my romantic and melancholic heart.
I’ll let you know how my reading progresses shortly.
What motivates you to buy a paperback?