Here’s a riddle: If a girl falls into mad consumerism in an independent bookstore, does it still count as consumerism?
I recently went to the Strand, which is one of those bookstores run by people who curate the selections so well that you forget none of the titles were on your mind when you entered. Everywhere you look, it feels like you’re reminded of your own good taste. (Jennifer Egan! Patti Smith! Tom Rachman!)
Anyway, I had one mission: to buy a Lonely Planet guidebook. One of my favorite people in the universe lives in China, and I’m going to visit in a few months. (Yaaaaaay! Or rather: Shi de!) If you’ve been to Beijing, and have tips, please send em my way.
I was all set to checkout…
Except on my way to the cash register, I spotted these:
And because I was at the Strand, bandaids-that-look-like-bacon seemed like a brilliant, sardonic use of $5, rather than just crap.
And then I was done.
Except that, obviously, when you spot a gadget that helps you create a miracle at breakfast, there is only one thing to do…
buy buy buy!
And then I saw this book by Gabrielle Hamilton, who runs a lovely restaurant called Prune in the East Village. My friends Kelly and Kristin have both sent me links to her essays, which I devoured. (Foodie pun!) I’ve been looking forward to this book for months.
And by then the floodgates were wide open, and I was like, “Why bother waiting until the NYPL has Jennifer Egan, when I can just BUY IT RIGHT NOW?
I am supporting an independent bookseller!
So to wrap-up: I spent four times more money than I’d intended. If I’m going to be undone by consumerism, I’m glad it happened at the Strand.
STRAND: 1, KERRY: 0.