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At Least They’re INSIDE A Bookstore?

, , , , | Right | October 26, 2020

I am browsing in a bookstore when a family of four clustered around a table of graphic novels suddenly cries out in excitement.

Mother: “Look! They adapted the movie To Kill a Mockingbird into a comic book!”

Employee: “Actually, the graphic novel is adapted from the book.”

Son: “Why would anyone base a comic on a book?”

Employee: “It’s not so uncommon anymore. Look, there’s an adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale right over there.”

Son: “No, that’s a TV show.”

I leave the poor employee and walk into the next room to browse the fiction section. The daughter, who is about eighteen years old, breaks off and approaches me.

Daughter: “I can’t make sense of these shelves. Are they alphabetical by title?”

Me: “Um, no. Alphabetical by author.”

Daughter: “Really? It doesn’t make sense to do it that way.”

Me: “It’s by author. Were you looking for something? I don’t work here, but maybe I can help.”

Daughter: “Oh, no, I’ll find it.”

The daughter stands and stares at the fiction shelves with her brow furrowed. I find the book I am looking for and go back to the other room to pay, where I find that the rest of the family is still debating whether or not the “To Kill a Mockingbird” graphic novel is based on the movie or the book.

Mother: “See, this has to be based on the movie because it has the aunt in it.”

Employee: “…?”

Mother: “The aunt isn’t in the book; they invented that character for the movie.”

Employee: “Scout’s aunt? She’s in the book. But it doesn’t really matter; the story is going to be essentially the same regardless.”

Mother: “No, the aunt is not in the book. You should read it sometime.”

The aunt is definitely in the book, but I don’t want to get involved. The employee politely excuses herself to ring me up. As we are finishing the transaction, the daughter comes up and points at me.

Daughter: “You were wrong. Those shelves aren’t alphabetical by author. I don’t even know what they are, but they’re not that.”

Me: “Sorry? I believe they are.”

Employee: “The fiction section? It is alphabetical by author. Can I help—”

Daughter: “No. It’s not.”

She walked away, leaving the employee confused. The family left at the same time as me.

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