It was was a miserable night of petty irritations. It was raining, we had had car issues, I had dropped my partner off somewhere and rushed home. Only when I got home did I realise I had left my house key with him. And that I was badly in need of the toilet. As I pulled my phone out of my handbag its battery died. There was nothing redeemable about the evening. I left a note on the back of an ATM receipt, “phone’s dead, gone to pub” and headed back out.
I was a little saddened, however so I stopped by the best place in the world, the bookshop. This one would be Crow Books, the closest to me and the one that would have been mine had I any idea how to run a business, and had the cash or collateral to start one and guts to do it before its owner Alan did. So really, it’s nothing to do with me other than that I’m insanely jealous that I don’t have a book shop. I wandered in on a raining weeknight and it was warm and there was some lovely music playing and I smiled at the shop and picked a book off the shelf and bought it and everything was okay again.
I can’t remember if it was that night or a different one, but I bought Marieke Hardy’s You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead from Crow Books. It has to be one of the best titles for a memoir in history and I’m wildly irritated that I didn’t claim it first for the memoir I haven’t written. I took it to the pub and giggled away while reading it, even after my partner joined me and sat companionably reading a paper or twitter or whatever. It’s pretty good, the first chapter or so was genuinely funny. Then Hardy started to talk about football for a really long time and she lost me, not least because she confused Subiaco Oval with Fremantle Oval. But it was resurrected with an entertaining few chapters about a Young Talent Time crush and Bob Ellis, not related obviously. Hardy is the go-to nerd-crush for a certain set and she fills me with confidence that red lipstick and a devil-may-care attitude will win out over cynicism in the end.
The thing about books, and about book blogs I assume but don’t quote me on that I’m new here, is that they’re supposed to change your mood. They’re the gateway drug for the mind and if you even trust me at all after that horrible cliche you should believe me when I say after a dreadful day when there’s nothing left, just pop into a bookshop or library. It’s full of old friends you haven’t met yet.
Read it if: you really need a good laugh, you’re not easily offended, it’s either reading tales of someone else’s drunken antics or mainlining gin.