Thursday, November 29, 2007

Book Futures

Not being a techie, visits to the big-box computer/entertainment/stereo store always led me to smaller sections of familiar items such as books and DVDs. I’d anticipated a recent night of shopping to be no different, actually looked forward to the pre-holiday bustle. After scanning the movies, and miraculously walking away without picking any up, I slid by the end cap of latest rap CDs and meandered toward the book aisle, murmuring coordinates to my husband who pointed toward his destination, namely the “serious-person’s speaker sector.”

Though not usually first-run or best sellers, this big box could be counted on to house a few titles destined for my must-read list. But upon my approach, I scanned the shelves to find three formats of video games, one on display with the guitar-joystick that has ensnared legions of players—some my age!

I marched through the box-maze, inspecting the shelves, wondering to which area my precious books could have been moved. Confused, not even stumbling upon a how-to manual for a cell phone, I trudged toward my husband and the stereo aisle, where I was asked to choose the best resonance from two identical sounding speakers. “Wow, that’s tough,” I said. “This one has a slightly tinny sound.” By now I knew the lingo, even if my ears failed me, and I knew months of online research would take place long before he’d commit to and purchase a set. Did I mention the professed tinny-sounding speakers were eight feet tall and resembled the Egyptian pyramids?

Checking out with my conciliatory candy bar, I nonchalantly asked the twelve-year-old behind the counter, “What happened to the books?”

Not knowing that his words would demean my very existence, he said, “We’re all about the future here.”

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