Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Drinking with Booksellers

A few weeks ago, I had an after-work drink with some booksellers.  We had just spent eight hours in the same space, and by the time we got to the bar we were aimlessly chatting about inclement weather.  To distract ourselves from obsessively staring at the kitchen doors while waiting for our fries and beverages, I asked a question. "If you had to enter into a relationship with a literary character, who would it be?"

We paused, looked at each other for a bit, and jumped in. (Answers: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, George Emerson from A Room With A View, Behemoth from The Master and Margarita)

"If you had to choose two literary characters or authors to be your parents, who would they be?" (Answers: Atticus Finch  + the ever glorious Ric, closing manager and poet extraordinaire, Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Weasley, Moominmamma and Kurt Vonnegut)

"If you had to have an unhappy marriage with a literary character and had to stay together for the kids, the dog and because your mother really liked him, who would it be?" (Answers: Lord Byron, Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, Ivan Karamazov from The Brothers Karamazov, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice)

"If you had to get a character's name tattooed on your body, who would it be?" (Answers: Bartleby, Mr.---, Seymour Glass's name surrounded by a piece of broken glass cutting a bananafish)

This is how we solve our problems. Not really.
"Stick with me here, okay?  Remember the literary character you wanted to have a relationship with?  Imagine you looked at their bedside table, and there was a well-worn book on it that you hated so much that it would make you break up with them.  What book would it be?" (Answers: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Eat Pray Love, Modelland, Anthem I've been corrected: Atlas Shrugged)

"If you had go on an Arctic exploration with one author and one literary character, and one of you had to be killed in a bout of hypothermia-induced insanity, who would you go with and who would kill whom?" (Answers: I refuse to reveal the answers to this question, but the best one invoked the Star Wars tauntaun/Bear Grylls and a deer situation, if you catch my drift)

First of all, we found out that we know an awful lot about books. There are some books that people virulently, virulently hate, and some characters we obsessively, obsessively love.  There were arguments, the construction of parameters, literary allusions, answers we swore we would never repeat, and a glove was thrown to the ground.  It got really intense, but it was fantastic.

In a little less than two weeks, Rosie Schaap will be here for her new book, Drinking With Men.  After the traditional author event at the Booksmith, we're having a Literary Epilogue, where you grab a drink after an event and hang out with the author. We'll head over to Hops 'N' Scotch to have a drink.  Each purchase of the book comes with a drink ticket, and you'll have the opportunity to hang out with people who like the same book you do. Maybe you'll get into a literary argument over how you and your friend like/dislike An Unbearable Lightness of Being and are suddenly unsure if you are supposed to be friends even though you are really really good friends but what does it mean that they love it and you hate it, or maybe you'll have a good time. I sincerely hope it will be the latter.


Alex in Leeds said...

Behemoth??? I always thought he was the one night stand you had to try and sneak away from... The event sounds ace btw. :)

Jamie said...