(No, they’re not made from crumbled cookies.)
When the bookshop opened, the line stretched around the block. Not just at this one, but in all the bookshops in the city. Not just in this city, but in all the cities in the world. Some strange mania came over the place* and everyone threw down their brainchain** devices and picked up a book, the nearest book to hand, only, GASP!, many realized, there weren’t***. Soon people were streaming in through the doors and not too long later streaming out with just stacks of books of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some poor fools were trying to read a book while carrying six to ten other books. This often ended badly for all concerned****. One bookstore had to close early because, well, there weren’t any more books. Even the twenty year old text book on differential calculus went out the door. That bookstore owner wasn’t sad. On the contrary, she propped her feet up next to the cash register and smoked a celebratory cigar and poured herself a really quite generous glass of Laphroaig*****. The one thing she didn’t do: read a book******. A little later, she closed up the shop, strolled off down the street*******, and made her way home in the most leisurely way. After a nice long bath, she settled in with one of the three books she happened to be reading and dozed off, the book propped open on her chin. Her dreams were sweet and peaceful.
* The world, I mean.
** In a simpler time, we called them idea pipes, because piping ideas was where it was at, yo.
*** Any to hand.
**** There were some open manholes and one very open crocodile mouth. That’s just how it goes, sometimes, when you’re doing more than one thing at once.
***** She’d never dared to open the bottle before, let alone drink from it.
****** There weren’t any left.
******* Hopped and skipped over a couple reclined readers on the sidewalk.