Goldie Reader and the 3 fonts

Sunday, September 17, 2006

One day Goldie Reader wanted to read a good book, but nothing in her to-be-read pile was particularly tempting.

"I know!" said Goldie, "I'll go to the bookstore and buy a new one." Sheer stroke of genius that. What a reader that Goldie was! So off she went to find a bookstore.

The fist bookstore she came to was quaint, with lots of charming wood-trim outside and sparkly mullioned window-panes. She decided to go in. Ooh, but this store smelled divine, all that lovely old paper scent! The wide-plank hardwood floors were worn and dipped in places, the walls taken up with floor to ceiling shelves that were crammed full of books! And through the dimmed lights, Goldie swore she saw flickers of dust-motes dancing. She almost clapped her hands in glee.

But she refrained.

Because a Very Impressive Person stood behind the till near the door. This Very Impressive Person pinned Goldie with under a pointed glance given over a pair of prince-nez, that pinched a very impressively pointed nose.

"May I help you?" VIP asked. Pointedly.

"Why, yes." Goldie said, very politely. "Do you carry X?" She asked for her very favouritest type of books. Ones filled with intense emotions, engaging characters, grand adventure. And a great lot of sex!

The vips'(very important proprietor's) vip (very impressively pointed) nostrils flared. The dust motes executed several grande jeté and piroetted into the dimmest corners of the room, leaving Goldie with a clear view up a pair of very impressive nostrils to an equally impressive brain. Why, VIP's head must be as crammed full with brains as this store was with books! Very Impressive indeed.

"I'm sorry," vip said in such a tone as to indicate the opposite was true. "We do not carry here that type of..." the very outmost corner of two lips, thin as parchment, lifted in a sneer, "book."

"I see." Goldie looked round again, at all the shelves chucked full of books, and up the VIP's nose to that Very Impressive brain, which, Goldie was sure, was stuffed with all types of things she had no interest in. Goldie saw very clearly that this wasn't the store for her. She thanked VIP, very politely, and left, very quietly.

A little further down the street she heard a commotion. "What's this?" A fair? There was a sea of parked cars, and a ferris wheel and elephants and all types of rides. Oh My! And in the midst of it all was a BIG GIANT BOX. Like the Biggest Bestest Present in the Whole World. But, no! It wasn't a Big Box. It was a Big Store. And the Biggest and Bestest type of Store. A Bookstore!! Hoorah!! Goldie went in.

Oh dear. Goldie was lost. The store was TOO BIG. It had several floors, the highest of which housed a observatory and required a sherpa to lead the way. The lowest of which was very, very, hot for some reason, and where all the books on the occult, all the titles written by AA authors--regardless of the race of the protagonists--and all remaindered books could be found.

But as for the rest of the shelving? Why it made no sense! Erotica shelved with Inspirational. Paranormal in the Suspense. And when she came to the section that was clearly labelled her very favouritest type, she thought there was some mistake, for all she found there was the complete backlist one particular author. 800 copies of each title written over a 750 year career. Including the hardback edition--forward written by some big mucky-muck editor, and a glossary at the back--of poems written in grade school. Poor Goldie spent several days wandering the aisles, but she never did find hide nor hair of the fabled and whispered about customer service rep. She left.

Goldie was ready to admit defeat. She would take up TiVo'ing, or blogging, or something. But what ho? What was this? A medium-sized store with big clear windows that showed a brightly lit interior and.... books! Not an overwhelming selection. And not a whiff of the Very Important kind, either. Goldie went in. She was greeted by a pleasant looking lady and when she tentatively asked if her very favouritest type of book was available, why that lady's smile got impossibly wider, because she too thought that particular type of book was the grandest to be read! Evah!!

The VIL (very inviting lady) showed Goldie where their mutually faviouriest types of books were stocked. Futher, she made serveral suggestions of books she thought Goldie would enjoy. In the first case, the font was soo teeny teeny, weeny tiny Goldie's pupils shriveled into pinpoints trying to make out the cramped typeface. There was barely a hair's breath of space in the margins, and most pages consisted of one single paragraph-length sentence. Goldie was very sorry, she said, handing back the book to VIL, while little alphabet-shaped black dots exploded in her vision, but she couldn't possibly read this.

The kind lady was also disappointed but directed Goldie to another fine read by a new author. This book was HYSTERICAL(!), the lady claimed, wiping away tears of remembered mirth from her eyes. Oh, this was a good sign! Goldie thought. She took the book and started to flip through the pages. Instead of smiling though, Goldie was frowning. She flipped to the back of the trade-sized book and her brows lifted out of the frown then settled back in again when she noted the price. She looked through the 'book' again. Yes, she was thinking of it with "quotes" around the term, because with the LARGE FONT, broad chasms masquerading as margins, and so much white space on the page that she feared a type of snow blidness would set in, Goldie suspected that this was a novella and not a true book-length "book". When Goldie began to experience vertigo from looking at all that vast space, she declined the opportunity to buy this offering, also.

Not be be disuaded, VIL showed Goldie one last book. The cover was kind of lurid and off-putting and the title preposterous, but Goldie took the book. Much to her delight, it was JUST RIGHT. The size was comfortable to hold and would fit in her bag nicely. The font was easy to read, the margins adequate and there was a good balance of dialogue, narrative and paragraphs, so there was minimum of strain on poor Goldie's ageing eyes. Goldie skimmed some more, the author's voice was engaging--what's more, she was getting sucked into the story as she stood there reading. "I'll take it!" she cried. And since this was one in a series, she bought the other books as well. Goldie was no fool--in fact, she was a member of MENSA--after all the trouble she'd been through to find the perfect read, she was stocking up!

The End
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Amie Stuart said...

So this is what you meant when you said you had to get some pages done



Jaye said...

No, this is not what I meant!! lol. This was supposed to be a very short tongue-in-cheek post about the stupid teeny-tiny print I've been coming across. 9 times out of 10 it's in books I really want to read, but now way am I straining my eyes. At least when the font is large, etc, I can still read the damn thing.

But, so how this is what came out. :-P Now I have to figure out why this posted twice, and delete one.

And get back to the wip.

raine said...

Hmmm...I've seen the humungous print. Ridiculous stuff--like buying a bag of chips and it's full of air.

Jaye said...

LOL! Great analogy, Raine. It's exactly like a bag of chips that's half-filled with air. A party-sized bag, since half the time it's trade-size books that are done this way ,not mass-market paperbacks. Makes you feel even more ripped-off.

::jaye, who is still trying to figure out what she meant by this in her last comment:: -

" But, so how this is what came out."


Susan Flemming said...

Cute story.

Hubby and I used to go into a bookstore and each time come out with a bag full of books, but that's happening less and less often for some of those reasons mentioned.

Jane said...

Maybe Sony's Ereader will be successful for the baby boomer generation. The ability to manipulate font size is wonderful.

Jaye said...

Susan, book buying is becoming more and more an excercise in frustration & disappointment. *sigh*

Jane, I'll admit to like Firefox *specifically* because I can make the font as BIG as I freakin want. Some of those typepad blogs have teeny tiny writing. If I were in the market for an ereader--and I'm sure I will be at some point. SONY would get an automatic sale from me just because of that ability.

Michelle said...

What a hilarious story! Love it. :)

I have gotten so picky when it comes to books. I am dying for more funny historical romances.

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