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The Thing That Happened to Me at Borders

June 11, 2005

For our upcoming vacation, I’ve decided to forego my usual practice of toting along multiple books.  Space is going to be at a premium, so I will instead be bringing along just one.  My thinking is that, if I bring along a book long enough, it should take me most, if not all, of the vacation to work my way through it.

That book?  Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  It’s okay.  Roll your eyes.  Snicker.  Shudder.  Everyone else has.  Fact is, though, I’m looking forward to it.  War and Peace is regarded as one of the greatest novels ever written and, considering how much I loved The Count of Monte Cristo, I’m eager to see how another voluminous 19th century novel stacks up.

So today, as I was running errands, I stopped by Borders to pick up the hefty tome.  Barnes & Noble did not have the Modern Library paperback I was looking for, but it’s fellow "B"-named rival did.  Finding what I was looking for, I made straight for the registers without bothering to browse.  I have something like two dozen books on my "to read" shelf.  Or in my "to read" box, more precisely.

Arriving at the checkout, I enduring the look of awe and pity the cashier gave me as she realized what I was purchasing.  She scans it, tells me the total, and I hand her my card.  At which point she says:

"Can I see your driver’s license?"

I hand it over, thinking the same thought I’m sure everyone things when they are asked to do so.  Who the hell would steal a credit card and use it to buy [insert inane product here]?

At which point, the cashier to my left, a very cynical looking man of about thirty, turns to his colleague.

"What are you checking his ID for?" he asks.  "Like anybody’s going to steal a credit card and use it to come in here and buy War and Peace."

Cynical Borders cashier, you are my new hero.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2005 2:32 pm

    Are you a member at Barnes and Noble?

  2. June 11, 2005 2:54 pm

    Alas, no. But then, the majority of my book purchases are made at BookPeople, an excellent indie bookstore literally next door to where I work, or via Amazon.

  3. June 22, 2005 9:53 pm

    I bought War and Peace at B&N ad its been sitting on my book shelf. Haven’t started it yet though. Just finished John Wesley Harding’s Book (fantastic) and now reading “The Winter of Our Discontent” by John Steinbeck….it won the Nobel Prize… we’re both on a classics binge aren’t we?

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