Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a cool bookstore in Malibu called Diesel. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love was speaking and signing. It was mobbed and I had to stand the whole time, but she is as good a speaker as she is a writer and she graciously answered questions for so long that I had to go out for some oxygen before it was over.
For some reason, I didn't buy a book. I don't even know why. On the way home I decided to stop for something to eat only then I didn't have a book! Whenever I go out to eat by myself, I read. I couldn't really deal with parking and walking in to another bookstore. I was SO hungry. Right next door to the Thai restaurant I was going to was a big chain grocery store (Ralph's to you Californians) where I knew they had some books. So I popped in there and it was bad: only Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, some male mystery writer whom I wouldn't even read on an airplane, etc. Then way back I found Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, only one copy and only there because it is the new Oprah pick. I haven't read it so I grabbed it and headed for checkout.
I found a line with no people and three young women in their late teens or early twenties chatting because they had no customers. As I was paying, the girl checking me out said, "I need to get into reading." The other two girls said they did too. So all my guilt about not buying a book at Diesel and on top of that buying a book in a grocery store (it was heavily discounted, of course) flew away as I realized I had done a good reading deed in reminding those girls that they meant to read a book one of these days!