Yesterday, along with the rest of Philadelphia’s populace, I was out doing some last minute holiday shopping. I went to several stores, as you do, and found some great presents for my loved ones.
Somehow, I found myself in a used bookstore (this one, if you’re curious) browsing through the science fiction novels. Now, when I’m in a bookstore, or generally any place, I’m not looking to interact with other people. I’m just there to look at books, dude.
As I was looking at the books a guy walked up, and started checking out the same shelf of books. This is a common occurrence, so I did what you do: stepped back so the gentleman could have more books in his field of vision. We stood side by side in silence, as is my preference. But I sensed this guy wanted to talk to me.
“Are you looking for a good science fiction book,” random dude asked me.
Since I was in a bookstore looking at the science fiction section this was a pretty safe bet.
“Sure,” I said though I have been taught never to talk to strangers.
“Have you read anything by Greg Bear? Eon is really good. He got some stuff wrong about the future since it’s one of those books where the future he was writing about is our present, but he did predict iPads. Didn’t see the fall of the Soviet Union, though.”
Book wisdom dispensed he walked off into the mystery section and proceeded to talk to himself loudly. At least I assume he was talking to himself, though as I type this now it seems at least possible that he was continuing to talk to me since we were only separated by a bookshelf. I didn’t talk back though, since he couldn’t see me which I consider a clear signal that a conversation is over (if I ever close my eyes while you’re talking to me in person now you know why).
Long story short, I bought Eon because why the heck not? Plus it sounded pretty interesting and it only cost $3.