A little over a week ago, I made about a dozen purchases from Amazon.com. No big deal, just a variety of CD's (remember them?) DVD's, and ONE BOOK. One book, one book ONLY. My Halldór Laxness collection was missing two titles, The Happy Warriors and Iceland's Bell. Warriors is available, for well over $200, I'll have to wait on that one. I've checked Bell out of the county library several times since its release in 2003 but I was getting nervous that they'd decommission it in their current reorganization.
Digression #1: I have never exactly understood why our library gets rid of perfectly good books when it has acres of empty shelves. When it used to be the city library they had lots of very old books, many classic titles, some of which were very rare. All these vanished when the county took over.
The various titles have been trickling in. Monday I received a rather plump package from Adsrus, a bookseller in Des Moines. It was the Laxness, along with a slim volume of soft-core porn. Enclosed with the books was this note:
Evidently if NOBEL LAUREATE Halldór Laxness wasn't satisfactory I'd have this deathless prose to fall back on:
"Her fingers curved around him, hugged his swollen, aching flesh, making him desire her even more. "Please!" she rasped. "Now."
Digression #2. Years ago Dahl's bookstore existed on the fringe of downtown Minneapolis. Mr. Dahl loved his books, so much so that he lived in an apartment on the second floor, the door of which opened into his musty stacks. He would often be sitting there, listening to his beloved opera- "If you need anything, just knock!"
I was browsing near the front door one day when a seedy looking character (my future self?) came in, looked around furtively and asked me "Got any of those 'Spicy' books?"
It seems that now I do.