Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Clearing Books

This is a Three Word Wednesday (CCLXV) contribution, using the words fragrant, jostle and remnant.

He watched the big men, small old women and fussing mothers in the crowd jostle for position in front of the huge glass doors. Above the door, a banner advertised the Mega Book Clearance Sale with a start time that was now twelve minutes ago. He shrugged, and sat down on a bench, well back from the crazy people, and returned to the last chapter of a Thomas Keneally novel he’d picked up the day before at a suburban thrift shop.

Eventually the doors were opened. Four bulky, obese men in pseudo-official-looking white shirts that featured plastic badges tried to look intimidating.

After ten minutes, he’d finished the book. He put it back in his bag and sighed deeply, satisfied, as if he’d finished a great meal. He walked past the guards, who now looked bored, and into the warehouse. A small remnant of the piles of books he’d seen before remained. The air was fragrant with a thousand rifled and hastily-purchased paperbacks. He smiled. The pulp had been removed. He moved slowly through the aisles, and selected four books that he knew he wanted to read. The total was $12.50, including GST.

6 comments:

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I love the fragrance of old paperbacks. They become more fragrant still when I can buy them for a dime apiece!

My 3WW

Bernard S. Jansen said...

Thanks for you comment, MMT. I also love that smell of hundreds of old paperbacks. It's so linked to the memory of finding great books at giveaway prices, which is the dreamworld of every book lover, I think. My Kindle just doesn't smell the same.

Medhini said...

Lovely piece... enjoyed reading..brought memories of old books....

Sheilagh Lee said...

there is something about the smell of old books that is enjoyable and when you crack it open and feel the lovely pages beneath your fingers.you've captured all of this in this story I love that he waited while they got the pulp and than he got the bargains.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

@Sheilagh Lee: thanks for your kind comment.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

@Medhini: thanks for your comment. Memories are powerful, and I'm glad to have evoked them.