I Have Chosen…Poorly?

I do not have a lot of money. I haven’t had a regular job in nearly two years. This was due to medical reasons, not because I don’t want a job. It kinda sucks. When I did work regularly I was making enough to pay off all my bills, eat decently, and have enough left over to go see a movie or pick up a few books every few weeks. It was really nice.

Now? Now I have to find ways to make $94 a week of disability payments stretch to cover food, gasoline, and medical bills. That’s…yeah. That’s fun. So imagine my consternation (great word, right?) when my best friend found an incredible used book store.

Let me explain, I am a used book fanatic. There is something about the texture of a well loved book in my hands that makes me love it just that much more. I can see where the person (or persons) who had the book before me dogeared the pages, or re-read a scene so much that the binding is softest there. I feel like I am sharing an experience with another reader; a friend met only in the memory of the page.

I couldn’t say “No.” I was weak.

So I gathered up my loose change and a precious few crumpled bills, my person book index, and plopped myself into the passenger’s seat. I was sure that the place couldn’t be as awesome as she was telling me. I was right. It was better.

Three rooms of books, piled on shelves that went from floor to ceiling. In some places the books were three deep. There were paperbacks, first editions, school books, all beautifully organized. There were multiple editions of different books so I could find the ones that would match the others in the series that I already owned.

I was instantly in love.  I was also poor enough that I could only choose one, MAYBE two, books.

Have you ever seen Ever After with Drew Barrymore? That line she has about books, “I could no longer choose a favorite star in the sky.” I was having that moment. It was intense.

My first choice was a paperback romance by an author I wasn’t familiar with. It was a dollar, and I have a cheesy romantic heart. My second choice was a murder mystery…and this I probably should have left on the shelves. I don’t mind slashers, thrillers, or murder at large. My favorite show is Criminal Minds, and I’ve watched every police procedural show out there. Heck, I’ve taken a cadaver course as a science requirement in college so I could understand anatomy better.

But this book was a little too in love with it’s bloody murder scenes. I couldn’t tell you what the main character looked like, I’m guessing average middle aged grizzled Caucasian male, but I can tell you exactly how the victims were stabbed.

I guess what I’m saying is that I love description but only if that description is evenly spaced. I want to be able to see everything in the same clear manner, not having something rock from barely visible to so vivid that my jaded heart was like ‘Dude…’

So, murder mystery writers out there…take not. Love all of your book. Not just the stabby parts.


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