Over at the Argumentative Old Git’s hangout, there was a recent article about the 100 books you couldn’t live without.

Oooh! Everyone loves lists. It’s funny though, how scanning that list at Himadri’s site, I find that there are some of my all time favorites and some that I detest; all right there on the same fabulous list. How can that be? Well, like anything else, reading can be a highly personal thing. I’ve said for years, you never really know someone well enough to buy them books as gifts. Give them gift certificates and play it safe.

One of my favorites on that list is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Yeah, it’s 19th Century chick lit, but it’s a wonderful story all the same. Which brings up a memory of a funny experience I had regarding this book. I’m a biker, as some of you may know. A while back, I rode the ol’ Harley into the parking lot of my local public library to pick up a copy of Charlotte’s book for perusal. The heads turned as soon as the sound of that Harley came into the range of the ears of the folks coming and going.

Then this guy got off his bike:

… with all the black leather and chains a-jingling, he walked on up to the quiet middle class neighborhood library branch. He calmly strode into the building and went straight over to the fiction section and up to the “B” shelf. There was Charlotte’s wonderful story. He grabbed it and went to the check out counter to go through the usual check out baloney.

Everyone within viewing distance of him stopped what they were doing and stared. Mothers grabbed their children. Old men held onto their old wives. The silence grew even more silent, if that’s possible. All that could be heard was the jingle of the chains on the biker’s vest. A somewhat effeminate male clerk very nervously greeted the biker and took Charlotte’s book out of his hand to run it through the scanner along with the biker’s library card.

A hush fell as the clerk stopped and stared at the book and then at the biker and then back at the book. Another clerk leaned over to look at the book, then at the biker. The biker snickered a bit and said, “Never judge a biker by his cover.” The entire library guffawed loudly and breathed a sigh of relief. But hey… the biker was used to such treatment. It’s just part of being a biker.

Charlotte’s story was wonderful. Read it, if you get the chance. It’s available for free in many different formats at Project Gutenberg.

I commented at Himadri’s site that the list was outstanding… 99 fabulous books. Care to guess which one I wasn’t too impressed with? Many who know me have heard me harp on what a waste of ink and paper Catcher In the Rye was. My opinion of that much-overrated book hasn’t changed.

Pick up a book and read something, folks. It won’t hurt you none. I promise.

Later…

~Eric

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About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

2 responses »

  1. Lists are great fun, aren’t they? You can agree with some choices, disagree with others, be indifferent about the rest … It’s hours of fun! The list you refer to isn’t my own. It’s one that appeared on various Facebook pages, and claimed to be “100 Books You can’t Live WIthout”. While there were many titles in that list I wouldn’t want to be without, there wre also many other titles I would consider to be a seriouswaste of valuable space on my already overloaded shelved.

    I’ve always felt that if you disagree with a list, make up your own. So that’s what I’ve done (see http://argumentativeoldgit.wordpress.com/). Now we can all argue over this one as well!

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