“I need to go to the bookstore and library before we leave,” she said somewhat absent-mindedly looking out toward the street from inside their favorite coffee shop.
“But you already have a ton of books,” he reminded her.
“Yes, but I’ve read most of them. And there might be one or two that I’ll take with me from my own collection, but I need new books,” she replied turning her attention to him as he sipped his dry latte. She continued to pick at her croissant with Nutella. That was one thing she loved about this cafe; it was one of the few that served true European style croissants and Nutella. Il est parfait, she thought. She watched the cars and people go by the window and thought about the time she had been in Stratford, Canada. This particular street reminded her of that town and it’s European architecture. So far, that town, this street, and her croissants were the closest thing she had to Europe. She’d go someday, hopefully.
“Anyway, there are a lot of really great books that have been coming out recently,” she told him. “I’ve been reading some great reviews and they all sound like must-haves for a road trip.”
“Ok, so tell me some of them,” he said.
“Well, one that’s not so recent is Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar – ”
“Why would you want to read that?”
“Why not? I don’t know. Well, I was talking to one of my friends who really likes Plath and I found the book for really cheap at a used book store, so I bought it and figured it was a good summer book.”
“Alright,” he said slightly giving in. He still would not understand the fascination women had with Sylvia Plath, except for the fact that she killed herself by sticking her head in the oven, and women didn’t even really focus on that part. Maybe they could talk about it during the road trip. “What else is on your list?”
“Don’t mock me -”
“Never,” he joked.
“But, I picked up Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.”
“Isn’t that a children’s book?”
“Possibly, but ever since I saw the movie and discovered it was adopted from a book, I wanted to read it. And, well I was browsing through the young adult section at the library and found it. I figured, why not?”
“It’s adapted, not adopted. And you were in the young adult section?”
“Don’t tell me you’ve never gone over there? There are actually a lot of good books in that section. And I remembered a lot of books I read at that age and thought I’d try to find them.”
“Ok, ok. Any other books?”
“A Wrinkle in Time by – ”
“Madaleine L’Engle. Go figure. Others?”
“You’re mocking. You better watch yourself or I’ll read everything out loud in the van.”
“Only if you want me to fall asleep at the wheel and die in a fiery death along with me,” he retorted.
“Whatever. Well I also heard about this book called The Paris Wife or something like that. It recently came out and I thought I’d check that one out too. Oh, and Leaving Van Gogh sounded really good. I saw a post about it on Twitter from Random House. And that’s it for now. Maybe some John Steinbeck. I’ve still never read Of Mice and Men. But I did just see pictures of him when I was looking up some of his other titles. He wasn’t a bad lookin’ guy.”
“That’s irrelevant to me.”
“Well, what if you’re looking for a guy to model yourself after, you know? To find out what looks good and what doesn’t. What if other girls have seen pictures of John Steinbeck and thought he was handsome. Wouldn’t you want to find out what makes him handsome so you could make some of the same fashion decisions he did?”
“I’m pretty sure the 1950s are over.”
“I’m just sayin’.”
“My own fashion choices haven’t failed me.”
“That’s what you think.”
“Never mind. Are you ready to go? Do you want to go to the bookstore with me? Oh, and I was thinking about going to the paper store too to buy some stationary or a journal. Wait, no. I’ll make another journal. But they do have those old fashioned ink pens and inkwells there. I think I’ll get those. Oh man, this is going to be a great summer!” She got up from her seat and grabbed her sweater and bag. He followed suit, patting his pant pockets to make sure he had everything. Two mismatched coffee cups not entirely emptied and one plate of a two-thirds eaten croissant with Nutella were left on the table by the window facing the front street.