Despite house-sitting for my parents up in Victorville with only a dog and two turtles to keep me company at night, I've had a fairly social week. I hung out with my cousins on Tuesday night and all of Wednesday. We made gnocchi and manicotti and giggled like lunitics while playing charades. (The biggest laugh came with the word "alligator wrestling." I was an alligator and my cousin tackled me.) Today I went shopping with my friend Melissa.
As always, we started our day in Barnes and Noble. Since I'd just finished with my poll, we ended up analyzing the shelves of YA new arrivals. We were discussing what titles and pictures caught our eye, and though we both had different tastes, a cover of New York City standing above a waterfall definitely caught our eye. The Ward was the name of the book, and as I skimmed the flap, the things that sold us were the idea of Manhattan flooded, a sickness threatening a sister, and a car that could climb up skyscrapers. Melissa decided to buy it, but hesistated when she saw the price. $17.99.
"What's wrong with it?" she asked.
As it turned out the hardcover books she was used to buying were in the range of $26.00 (though she got them at discount). If the book were cheaper, it must mean it wasn't as good. Once I showed her that all the YA books were in the $17.99 range, she happily bought it, along with a Mary Higgins Clark book (she didn't even read the summary) and The Cuckoo's Calling, after I explained that it was a mystery penned by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym.
As we exited the store, she started to complain about not having room on her shelves.
"I could donate them, but I don't want to. It feels like I've already invested so much money in them. But I'm never going to read them again."
"It's like a collection," I said. "Like stamps."
Melissa thought she ought to go to e-reader, but didn't like how it felt on her eye.
"That's why I don't like reading your story," she said. "I'll read it when you've published it. But the document hurts my eye."
"My cousins have similar complaints," I said.
"Anyway, now that I have these new books, I don't have time to read yours. Besides, I don't know how good yours will be anyway." She grinned. "You're still an unknown."