Try as I might – and I tried, believe me – I couldn’t find a nice used paperback edition of Dracula anywhere in this town. Finally I asked one of the used bookstore proprietors WTF, and she said, “Kids. Kids are buying them.” I was momentarily thrilled: wow, they all got tired of drinking that diet Twilight stuff?! Nope – school assignment.
Which was actually still pretty thrilling. I’d assign Dracula if I were a lit teacher, in a hot minute. I’d also assign Flannery O’Connor’s serial killer story, the more stomach-turning Hans Christian Andersen fables (have you read “The Red Shoes” recently?), Walt Kelly’s “Pogo,” and everything Arthur Rimbaud ever wrote. Yes, even the letters. Especially the fingernail-from-my-eye letter, oh yeah.
And I’d take requests, too.
But I still need a used paperback edition of Dracula.