Each of my kids recently lucked into a tidy sum of money. Five whole dollars! I offered them a trip to Books-A-Million, and promised I would make up the difference if they each chose one book to buy. A much better idea than buying $5 toys, don't you think?
I hadn't planned to buy any books for myself (for goodness' sake, I have an embarrassing number of unread books on my shelves already, and I am trying to curb my spending) but then I realized I hadn't purchased my August book club selection yet. And of course book club books are a necessity, so they don't count when there's spending-curbing going on.
When I found a copy of Gone (Charity, it's way fatter than I expected it to be!) it had one of these lovely stickers on it:
So of course I HAD to at least look for two more books with the same sticker. I mean, FREE BOOK! Need I say more?
So. I'd gone from "buying no books for myself" to "looking for more." You know me. The first place I headed was the bargain aisle. Yes, I know they never put the aforementioned stickers on the bargain books. But they do put these stickers on them:
You've got to admit, if you're anything like me, that makes a book awfully tempting. And, surprise surprise, something caught my eye. It was this title:
Although, now that I look at it again, I'm not sure why it should have. The only real similarity is that the title is slanted at the same approximate angle. But still! The book had caught my eye.
And what should appear directly below the eye-catching title? These words: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson. Oooh! The Ripper Killings? As in Jack the Ripper? As in one of history's most intriguing mysteries? AND . . . by the Dr. Watson? Of Holmes and Watson fame? It just kept getting better and better. I HAD TO HAVE THIS BOOK.
My bookworm daughter didn't understand. Why was I getting two books for myself when she was getting only one? (Never mind that my two together cost less than her one.) My son told me I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I said, "I didn't! I judged it by the title and the blurb!" He gave me an odd look, then reminded me, "Those are on the cover." Oops. Busted by an eleven-year-old. It's OK, though, because I quit after two. I know my limits.
I just now realized I did not follow through with my usual book-buying procedure. I didn't crack Dust and Shadow open to a random page to make sure the writing doesn't suck. And now that I've gotten the book home, I'm almost afraid to look. I'd rather hang on to the promise of an amazing story in hopes that I won't be disappointed. Along with the hope that I won't have to make my kids eat their books for dinner any time soon, or burn them for fuel next winter. (Don't worry, it's really not that bad. Yet. At least not until my next trip to Books-A-Million.)
P.S. My youngest, blissfully oblivious to my unfair double purchase and cover-judging, had this to say at the bookstore: "I want to stay here for the rest of my life." Me too, baby! Do you think they would let us?