20 January 2011

An Almost Adventure

It would have been grand.

So for whatever reason, the book list for my literature class was incorrect and the Emerson bookstore ordered the wrong books. Because of this, I ordered five novels (plus two texts for a different course) on Amazon this morning. $114 for seven books. Best deal ever.

However, there is one novel that must be read by next Wednesday. And not only must I read it, I have to do a 30 minute oral presentation on its historical background as well as author information. (What is the difference between historical and historic? I can never keep that prescription straight.) So this is not the time to slack off on my reading because I don't yet have the book. Cue quest for A Passage to India.

I arrived at the Boylston T stop at 1:47 p.m. for a 2:00 p.m. lunch with Maria, the JMGS editor. (Remember this? We started today.) At 3:00 p.m. I left her office and went up two floors for an internship orientation meeting. At 3:30 p.m. I left the swelteringly hot room in which we were meeting, rode the elevator to the main floor, and exited onto windy Tremont Street in the direction of Borders.

Big surprise. They didn't have it.

The employees were very helpful and checked the system as well as two other stores in the area. Because of their kindness I refrained from making a comment about bankruptcy and not having things in stock, although I did think some comments to myself. But I still had two hours until my 6:00 p.m. class, and there are many other places to buy books: Barnes & Nobles at the Prudential Center, the Harvard COOP, the MIT COOP, Harvard Bookstore . . . and all T accessible.

I walked down Washington Street, excitedly forming my search route, but before I got back on the Green Line to Copley I thought I'd check the Emerson bookstore, just in case their fiction section carried E. M. Forster.

One Forster book; not the one I needed.

To be thorough and responsible, I asked the undergrad working behind the counter if everything was on the floor. He asked which book I was looking for and when I told him he said, "Oh is it for a class? We have it with the text books now." Really? The website disagreed. But okay, I'll go check with the girl in the back.

So I went to the back and they had one used copy. It's slightly beat up, the edges of the pages were marked with a red X (why would someone do that to a book? why?), but it was only $10 and it was the last copy in the store. Since I had no money, no income, and no guarantee that I'd find it at one of the other bookstores, I bought it.

But I'm a little sad that I missed out on the bookstore adventure.

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