Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The perfection of pocket-size paperbacks

They ruled once. They were all you could get, after the hardcovers. You’d see them on racks mostly. Like you now see city postcards outside magazine stores. You couldn’t really spin the racks. Most of them were leaning to one side or another, and one rack would sometimes bump into one next to it as you slowly turned it.

You’d see the racks in stores, and airports, in hotel lobby gift shops. They held Peyton Place, The Carpetbaggers, The Catcher in the Rye. In grade school I bought Catcher off a rack in my small-town cigar store. The cover had a boy on it with a red cap on backwards. Adding that picture to the title, I figured it was a baseball book.

You can still get them. Though they don’t dominate anymore. I love ‘em. Sometimes, about to run out the door to meet someone who will keep me waiting, or heading to a subway, I’ll grab one, slip it in my back pocket. I feel young again then. Back in Time. When Vonnegut was still alive, and Cat’s Cradle might be the book on my hip.

No comments:

Post a Comment