‘Hate that book’ – he muttered – looking at rather than talking to his phone. Walking faster now he arrived at the bookshop and glanced up. A woman was sitting there reading a book – he could see through the window – just sipping a coffee and kind of smiling, deep in reading thought. He thought he recognized the book and one he had recently read himself.
‘Hi’ he said catching her eye on entering the shop. ‘Hello’ she said carefully looking him over and suddenly not smiling.
‘I loved that….Jane Cenion really knows how to write.’ he said, pointing at her book.
‘Yes, I like it as well’ she said. Determined not to keep going with this conversation.
‘What are you reading ?’ she asked, quite sure that he probably wasn’t reading anything.
‘Oh – just some dumb book someone gave me. I hate it.’
‘Oh really ?’ she enquired, suddenly brightening.
‘Ah you woudn’t know it. It’s called Grimus’.
‘O – I’ve read that. What else do you hate ?’ – she said.
Well – so he started, remembering at random almost all the books that he hated. Kids books, Celeb Biography, Poetry, History books. Fiction books with no plot. Anything so called post modern. After a while he noticed she’d been taking a list of all the books he hated so much.
‘What are you doing ?? he demanded !’.
“Oh it’s nothing – don’t worry. I’m on a 365 challenge you know. I’ve found it hard but a focus to read all the books that people tell me they hate. People love to hate things, you know, different reasons. Even things they start out loving and saying how great they are. They can end up hating with a passion. So anyway, I made it a thing to read all the ‘hated’ books.” – she said.
He sat down now, opposite her without asking. Looking down he saw a little black book that she put thelist of hated things on. While sitting there suddenly silent. Lost for words. She picked up the little black book, pressed a small button and the eBook flashed to life.
‘Look’ she said showing him.
Wow!. An ebook that actually looks like a notebook he thought.
A table of contents appeared and in it he could see for himself. At least 50 titles. All books he hated.. but no .. there were some of his favourite books in there. ‘How could anyone hate that book? .. I loved that book !’ he said, looking up at her.
‘Yes but I found that now I love all of the books that people love to hate and I love to understand now why the authors had written them.
Suddenly he felt exhausted. Not only were some of the books those he loved but others things that his friends had said they hated. All listed and downloaded into the little black book. Slowly he got up suddenly feeling trapped and claustrophobic, he had to get out of the shop. Walking toward the door he saw his own face in the reflection of the glass door. Grimus he thought. ‘ Perhaps I’ll read it’. What else did Rushdie write ?.
Photo: Tersiiska/Flickr – Copyright 2014.