Friday, March 25, 2005


To satiate my love-affair with words, I have often visited the whorehouse that is Chapters. All the pretty books display themselves in window cases, giving you a glimpse of the forbidden fruit that lies within the covers that can be yours for the right price. The overt display entices customers to come in and spend their money, be disloyal to the books sitting at home, waiting to be read, and bypass those they could have had for free just two blocks further at the library.

When the written word is your mistress, you WILL visit the whorehouse. You can choose which one you want to take home with you, which one you'll take to bed or share a bath with, which pages you'll finger tenderly, and because Chapters is the mac daddy of all pimps, you never leave without a date. There's always something available for whatever amount you're willing to pay for love.

But there is one alternative to the whorehouse - there's the friendly neighbourhood escort service, otherwise known as the little book shop around the corner. It may not have the same selection, but it gives the kind of personalized service that I cherish in a lover. Madam shop keeper greets me by name, and hooks me up with my favourite vices. I will gladly pay a little extra for this, because the scent is intoxicating (the smell of words is distinct, of paper and ink, and all those good things, compared to the sterile "clean" smell of Chapters), because when the shop opens her arms to me, it feels like home, and because sometimes an old seasoned pro turns the best tricks.

In that vein, I have been stuck by Low Level Rebel, and will attempt to answer the questions:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

The Bible. I don't know a more controversial, inflammatory, sex-drenched, violence-sodden, scandalous read around.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Michael Corleone, The Godfather (Mario Puzo)

The last book you bought was:

The Iliad and The Odyssey (Homer)

The last book you read was?

Just finished Fall On Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald); thanks Anna.

What are you currently reading?

Love In The Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez). Surprisingly good. Also on my nightstand: Far From the Madding Crowd (Hardy), and I Claudius (Graves).

Five books you'd take to a deserted island?

Dear God: if you grant me only one thing, let it be that I never have to limit myself to just 5 books! But if I can only take 5, I'm going to make the most of them:

1. The Godfather, Mario Puzo. Hands down favourite book since I was 12.
2. Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood. Margaret Atwood is a goddess. Every word is a gem.
3. The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving. His books are to die for.
4. Fifth Business, Robertson Davies (the whole Deptford Trilogy, if possible).
5. Beloved, Toni Morrison. Beautiful prose and superior story-telling.
5. Vinyl Cafe, Stuart McLean. Funny stuff.
5. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt. Powerful, moving, agonizingly well-written.
5. some Jack Kerouac, D.H. Lawrence, Mordecai Richler, Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Judy Bloom, Nabokov, Angelou, etc, etc. I knew I would be bad at this!

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