Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, June 4, 2010

An anecdote

On my last trip to the library, I came across a book my sister had said she wanted to read, so I checked it out for her. When I saw it on her nightstand a few days later, I wanted to see how far she'd gotten, so I opened it to the page where she'd placed a bookmark.

The bookmark she'd used was not one of those oblong skinny things sold at bookstores, but rather a nail file-- the kind you buy in a pack of twenty that costs less than a dollar. I shook my head, picturing her sitting with the book splayed open on her lap, her filing her nails while she reads.

A perfectly fine image, except I know that's not what my sister's really like. And yet the nail file being used as a bookmark made me feel something, something I could not explain.

After a brief session of making fun of my sister, I mused out loud about all the work that Ian McEwen did to publish this novel, "Solar," and all the work that every writer does to get any of his/her work published, period, and how people like her just don't understand a writer's plight toward publication.

"You can't even extend to him the courtesy of using an actual bookmark," I said to her with a laugh, only half kidding.

She rolled her eyes and said the same thing she always says when she's had it with my nagging about things that only I seem to care about: "Okay, what do you want from me?"

"I want you to use an actual bookmark."

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