In Search of Anne Brontë…
The saga continues. A Brontë scholarling, in a moderate sized Canadian city… trying to find a copy of Agnes Grey. I had to acknowledge that the chain stores will never stock the book, that the same goes for the university store- unless it is ordered for a class. Yes, the easy thing would be to order a copy myself but there's a point to be made here… Why is this so difficult? Today I went to B_______, the most respected rare and used bookstore in town. It is almost an institution among readers. It is located in the old city, and so I had to wind my way there on foot, through a small lane. I stepped into the lovely little shop absolutely stuffed with old books- antique books too. This is what is called book-lust, by the way. But I was on a mission. I had heard the owner speak to us about his passion for books, and heard his complaints of people stopping in only for some book Oprah had recomended- and then leaving. I had to smile to myself, and couldn't help but wonder exactly what he would make of me, then.
"I'm looking for a book by Anne Brontë."
"Which one?" (a good sign!)
"Agnes Grey." He got up and disappeared behind a bookcase.
"We have Tenant of Wildfell Hall…"
"Yes, everyone does…" I smiled to a gentleman there who nodded politely but probably didn't really care that everyone has copies of Tenant of Wildfell Hall– or he didn't believe me.
"We don't have that one."
And so, I bid him good day and left him to shake his head and probably wonder what that was all about and why I didn't want to buy a copy of Dr.Aitkin's newest book or something. And my poor mom, who picked me up, had to hear my ranting all the way home. Looks like I must admit defeat and order one online. I can't feel bad for the bookseller. How often will he have someone run in from the cold demanding a copy of Agnes Grey?