Early last week I received an email notification from the library that a book I’d requested had come in. I did not recognize the title and had no memory of where I’d seen the book recommended or by whom. I had no idea what it was about. But I added it to the pile and brought it home.
(Incidentally, being able to look up and reserve books from not only our local library but from all the libraries in the system has been invaluable to me as a mother of small children. I don’t have time for much shelf browsing while at the library. I’m too busy riding herd on my three tykes. I love walking up to the desk and having the librarian pull out a big stack of books for me.)
What I discovered was a mystery story of sorts. The protagonist is a young man named Billy, a recent college graduate, philosophy major, who has been hired by a dictionary publisher in Western Massachusetts. I don’t want to say too much about the novel for it was so delightful to just let the story unfold as it would. I liked Billy. He so much reminded me of myself at that age. Young, adrift. And for a book lover and word nerd like me the setting of the tale was perfect. The dry and dusty rooms of the publishers office with all the odd-duck lexicographers sifting through definitions…. yes it was wonderful.