Why I Stay Out of Bookstores (or should)

Mutatis mutandis, though not quite so dire:

Even though we get a lot of people into the shop, only a small percentage of them buy anything. The best customers are the ones who just have to buy a record on a Saturday, even if there’s nothing they really want; unless they go home clutching a flat, square carrier bag, they feel uncomfortable. You can spot the vinyl addicts because after a while they get fed up with the rack they are flicking through, march over to a completely different section of the shop, pull a sleeve out from the middle somewhere, and come over to the counter, this is because they have been making a list of possible purchases in their head (“If I don’t find anything in the next five minutes, that blues compilation I saw half an hour ago will have to do”), and suddenly sicken themselves with the amount of time they have wasted looking for something they don’t really want. I know that feeling well (these are my people, and I understand them better than I understand anybody in the world): it is a prickly, clammy, panicky sensation, and you go out of the shop reeling. You walk much more quickly afterward, trying to recapture the part of the day that has escaped, and quite often you have the urge to read the international section of a newspaper, or go to see a Peter Greenaway film, to consume something solid and meaty which will lie on top of the cotton-candy worthlessness clogging up your head.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.