There are all kinds of books out there, all kinds. If I get to have it my way, most of them will line the walls of my living room. I won’t need to choose wallpaper, regardless of the fact that it’s going out of style in fast forward. I’ll spend barely moments in the paint aisle, choosing colors for our four walls, though I’ve always had fond feelings toward those little matte finished paint strip samplers they give you at the hardware store. My walls will be like secret panels behind floor-to-ceiling bookcases. When we’re home, we’ll be surrounded by spines of all kinds.
But for now, I read what I know. I read books that are like what I already know that I like. I read on recommendation. I join and create book clubs, even when that just gives excuse for you and me to read together and talk on the phone. What I don’t usually read are crime novels.
I met a gal fortuitously, Migsy, who loves the new Steig Larson series about the girl with the tattoo who kicked the nest, played in the fire and all that. I, too, fell to the craze for about seventy pages of the first book in his three-part series. Now, I don’t usually put books down. I even love holding them and fingering the page corners. But it was too slow, too boring, too uneventful and packed with business language of the most painful kind for me. I dropped it and dove into another book that I read cover to cover.
Now, in this meeting, our late-night conversation, Migsy may have turned my sour heart right around and have me picking up the book I buried on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I like her enough to trust her literary opinion. But seventy pages speak to other way, so I guess we’ll have to see.
In my investigation at the local bookstore, I asked the clerk about authors that Migsy might like. I told her how I hated the book, but would be willing to give it a second try. She explained that my reservations were common, that quite a few folks, I guess, struggle through the first hundred pages. While this seems an oddly anti-strategic writing style, I digress. She directed me to a section of Nordic fiction, Swedes and such who were all in cahoots with the likes of Steig Larson. We stood among crime fiction, a section unfamiliar with the reading-likes of me.
I surveyed the covers, read the back flap synopses and took three books to my café table for some dinner reading. One book, black cover, red letters, had me hooked. I read the first fifty pages while eating my turkey and avocado sandwich, Mediterranean salad without feta, and turkey chili, following Harry, this detective, watching tapes of peculiar bank robberies. Migsy’s gonna love it! And I’m a reader of crime novels, now. Aw, sheesh.