More often than you can imagine, sweet, curious people pass through our doors who want that book, you know that one with the blue and the… the one that starts with “The…” with the guy who dies and she’s abducted. There’s nothing a crazy bookseller loves more than to successfully… name the tune in under two notes. Here’s the first in the series:
Two young women were streaking through the bookstore towards the open french door into the cafe’s back garden and the irresistible music of the fountain, when one suddenly whirled around, slapped her hand on the counter and declared “I need a book!”. Turning to her friend, she said “You know, that tragic heroine.” They must have had a recent conversation on the subject, because her friend immediately said “You mean Anna Karenina?” “No! Not that one. The other one!” exclaimed the customer, turning to look at me expectantly. We three stared blankly at one another for a moment, then burst out laughing at the wide expanse of literature in which “the other one” could be hiding. Then the bookstore and I mind-melded and after a short cascade of inspiration I gave her answer. “Madame Bovary.” “That’s it!” she cried, and another slap of the counter sealed the deal.