June 20, 2005

I overheard this brief exchange -- between an elderly woman with limited mobility and her nursing companion -- at the Philadelphia City Institute Library, a division of the Free Library of Philadelphia, on Friday, June 17:

Elderly Woman: Could you look on that lowest shelf and see if they have anything by Danielle Steele? I haven’t read anything of her since [unintelligible].

Companion: Sure. Here. There are three of them. [Shows elderly woman three mass-market pulp paperbacks.]

Elderly Woman: [Peruses the front and back covers.] Well you can’t tell what they’re about looking at them.

For crying out loud, lady, what’s to know? They were written by Danielle Steele. They’re about sex (mostly of the adulterous sort), wealthy men, designer clothing, excessive make up, and lots of alcohol.


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