Dear John

Let’s face it: we’ve had some good times, but they’re all in the past.

You made me laugh; you broadened my horizons; I ran my fingers down your spine and felt sexy and smart. We even shared some values. I will never forget weeping over A Time to Kill, feeling that I’d found my soul mate (not to mention this generation’s To Kill a Mockingbird).

But we’ve grown apart. Put more bluntly, you’ve changed. Try as I might, I just can’t get past Playing for Pizza. 

It’s over, John. Our bookstore won’t be taking any more Grishams–not paperback, not hardback, not written on vellum. I tried. Through the mood swings from The Testament to A Painted House, I stood by you. “He’ll find himself again,” I said to naysayers. “Really, he’s a sensitive ’90s guy; did you read Rainmaker?” And then I read The Litigators, and wondered.

Frankly, John, it’s just not worth it to me. Your hardbacks are clogging a desirable traffic area with the Pattersons and the Cornwells. (If it’s any consolation, she’s next, and you may find comfort under each other’s covers in the bargain bin; rebounds aren’t so bad if you have a traveling companion.)

You take up an entire shelf for your hardbacks, and they can’t lie sideways because of their height. Size does matter, dude.

So really, it’s not you; it’s me. You’re just… too big. Too many. Too out there. You throw yourself around to every Amazon, Dick and Barnes and Noble, and then you expect to come crawling in here and I’ll take you back. You’re not a cheap date anymore; I need the space for the next guy. You don’t just take up that hardback shelf; you’re all over the spaces under our shelves, in the discount section. I’m tired of cleaning up your messes every morning, after you party all night with the cats. You’re just too cheap and easy.

I know, I know; you want to talk about the past, the glory days when people couldn’t keep their hands off you. I get it. I should feel lucky to have you here, with me, now. But it doesn’t work that way.

The time has come. Let’s be adult about this–no blame, no regrets. Admit it; you had fun. So did I. Shake hands before you go? No, don’t kiss me. You’re dusty. Just get out.

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18 Comments

Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, humor, Scotland, Uncategorized, writing

18 responses to “Dear John

  1. Donna

    That was the best blog I have read in a long time! And, I agree with you 100 percent. He was good at first, but the glow wore off! No more Grisham for me!

  2. Linda Arnett

    This is hysterical and SO spot-on! In the non-profit used book store I manage, I no longer keep his hardbacks. NO ROOM and no sales! Thanks for the wonderful writing!

  3. I’m not quite where you are, but I do think BLEACHERS was one of the worst reads EVER. I still like John and keep the old hardbacks as a memory of better times, but—you’re right, he’s not the John I once knew…

    • Yeah, they’re like high school yearbooks we can’t throw away. And I still love A Time to Kill and Rainmaker. It’s when they show their softer sides that we love them most, eh? ;]

  4. Well, I’ve never taken him to bed, so don’t have to kick him out for eating crackers!

  5. Sonja

    You get better and better and he gets worse and worse. Maybe that’s as it should be. : )

  6. Ha. There’s always a place for John and J.P. at our store…they can be found in our $5 hardcover milk crates.

  7. This post tickles me in places Grisham was never able to reach. 😉

  8. Whew, I am so relieved to see that I am not alone when it comes to talking back to books. This Dear John letter was wonderful.

  9. Laura Taylor

    I giggled all the way through this blog post! Definitely one of my favorites so far! Ahhh..I used to love John Grisham… Then he got a little off…He lost me somewhere around Painted House. Speaking of…I have some John Grisham’s in a box out in the shed if you’d like me to drop them off for you. HeeHeeHee

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