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.

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