Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Novel I Never Wrote

I'm a sucker for a good first line, but suddenly, I've got an attack of shyness and don't know where to begin. Earlier this week on the BBC website, there was a quiz on first lines in books. I got 6 out of the 10 -- blew an easy question by over thinking it. After the quiz, people were invited to write their own first line. I'll post mine here:

"Reminiscences just aren't for me. Over the years, I've found that looking back only aggravates my whiplash."

Actually, that's true and not true. When it comes to books, I'll reminisce till the cows come home. The book is the hook that throws my past into sharp relief for me. Recite a title and I can tell you when I read it, where I lived, what was going on in my life and other increasingly useless minutiae.

I'm crazy (not an understatement) about reading, but I like any kind of interaction with books. I'm really involved with right now, and have been "releasing" my books" into the wilds" of Central Missouri.

I recently applied for a part time job at a local bookstore, but didn't get the job. After many years, the manager is probably adept at recognizing unrestrained book lust. During the interview, when she asked if (!) I liked(!) to read, my response tone was somewhat similar to the Cookie Monster's. When asked about customer service, the fervor dissipated and I was once again mild-mannered Bybee, maybe a little vague: "Oh yes, customers. Well, they're uh, important, I guess." Naturally, this translated to: I'll wait on them if I'm not in the middle of a good chapter.
But never mind the bookstore. There's also the local library. And there's my own library, which would be an impressive start to any bookstore.