Weep and wail, you procrastinators. Our last trilogy of 50 Shades of Grey has left the bookstore. It went out in a brown paper bag inside a recycled “Books a Million” polystyrene bag. And the buyer—who of course was purchasing it for her grandmother, not herself—was careful to let no one observe her.
In fact, when “Liv” came into the bookstore during Christmas vacation from university, she walked straight to the trilogy’s star place on the “holiday specials” shelf and plucked them up. “I knew these would still be here,” she grinned. “This town’s too small for anyone to buy them from people they know.”
How right she was. ‘Tis the curse of a small town bookshop that one cannot sell books on addiction or copies of the Kama Sutra to customers one knows by name—and goes to church with, or attends the annual gala at the college with, or otherwise could make a lot of trouble for if one were to start naming titles. We swear ourselves to secrecy, but it matters not; people don’t buy “iffy” titles from us unless we don’t know who they (the customers) are.
But we were startled that young Liv, an intelligent, self-confident young woman who’d worked the shop for us many times during her high school summers, wanted the Shades of Grey trilogy.
“No, no,” she said, waving the paper bag concealing them in negation. “My grandmother wanted to read them, and I told her I knew where I could get them without anyone knowing, and that I’d do it for her for a late Christmas present.”
For her grandmother. Of course. We tried to shake her, but she stuck to this story, repeating it several times over our shared cup of tea and general catch-up in village gossip. Which included lots of names, but no titles.
And for those of you who hesitated to enter the bookshop and carry away these treasures of grammatical insight—sorry, I meant anatomical—please be advised that we don’t plan to restock those…books.