Yesterday, Francine, Alexander and I popped into the Chapters in Ancaster as part of our regularly enjoyable family browse of books. (When there's a bookstore nearby, you can't keep the three of us from being drawn to it like moths) It was the perfect thing to do on a rainy afternoon after having just seen a matinee How to Train Your Dragon.
It's always fun to visit the Chapters that I used to manage, all those years ago. And I have to admit that the recent Indigo Kids renovations they have done to the store make it even more of a family destination. (Though I do have a particular fondness for the original Chapters kids sections that featured a storytime central area - that's just nostalgia getting in the way of progress in my mind, because the new sections are brighter and more attractive and still have lots of hands-on stuff for kids to check out)
While browsing the new release section I had what I like to call one of those Margaret Laurence moments.*
*(There's a scene from the novel The Diviners that has stuck with me all these years. Morag, as a young girl, comes across a dead animal and, as Laurence so beautifully describes, on a level far removed from reality, imagines herself poking the dead animal's eye with a stick. I've always loved the way Laurence says that -- like picking up a live wire, it's one of those bizarre thoughts you have, something you think about, can imagine yourself doing, but would never actually do.)
In any case, I had one of those moments while looking at The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson.
A lot of attention has been paid this past week of Indigo rushing this hotly anticipated new novel to their stores across Canada and putting it on sale on May 14th despite the official release date of May 25th and the fact that virtually every other bookseller in Canada didn't even get their shipments yet.
In a nutshell, it was a shrewd business move, but a dirty one.
Though there was no official embargo on the title from Penguin Canada, I still think it was a blatant violation of what I would consider a "gentleman's agreement" on honouring street dates for the more popular books.
That's why, when I was standing in the store and looking at the big display of the title, I considered, on a level far removed from reality, taking all copies of the book, one by one, and hiding them behind the remainders and under the gifty merchandise, and behind random barely browsed shelves in the store.
Then, once every single copy was hidden, I would sit at the adjascent Starbucks and sip a latte while enjoying watching customers complain that there were no copies of this hot new book available.
You know, give them a taste (however small), of their own medicine. Show them what it felt like to be one of the retailers losing out on sales of one of this season's most anticipated hardcover releases -- to have customers complain to you about something you couldn't control, about a completed unexpected surprise attack.
The practical joker in me thought it would be funny.
Then the thought left my mind, and I browsed some more.
I am, after all, not going to sink to that level.
But still, the thought makes me giggle in a mischievous sort of way.
Sometimes I wish I could play dirty like that. Sometimes I wish I had the guts to kick the hornet's nest.