By Marilyn Baron
I didn’t realize that Disney World had opened a branch in Atlanta. It’s at the Atlanta airport. The theme park appears, magically, when you enter the security zone and have to negotiate the maze of what I call the Disney snake line that winds around, like a huge intestine, making it appear shorter than it is. That’s when you find out that, “It’s a Long Line after all. It’s a Long Line after all. It’s a Long Line after all. It’s a Long, Long Line.”
There’s a sign in the security area that reads: If you were born on or before this date in 1937, you don’t have to remove your shoes when going through security. What I want to know is, what’s so special about 1937? And why don’t those old people have to take off their shoes?
And talk about getting old, the other day my husband accused me of being a finicky eater. He said I reminded him of Felix the Cat.
“You mean Morris the Cat,” I corrected him.
“Whatever,” he said.
That little interplay dates me, and it occurred to me that the aging population will be a boon to the publishing industry. Case in point. A friend of mine told me she’d just finished a book she didn’t realize she’d already read. Then she admitted she’d forgotten the name of the book. I’ve unintentionally checked out books from the library I’d forgotten I’d already read. But it only took me the first few pages or no more than the first chapter to realize my mistake.
Sometimes, I’ll read a chapter and swear I’ve read the book, but often it’s because authors will put a preview chapter of their next book in the back of their current book and that’s why I remember it. Remembering that preview chapter is an accomplishment in itself. Some authors write so many books you’d be hard pressed to remember each one of them. Rereading one would be an easy mistake to make.
I know some people reread “keepers,” but imagine how upsetting it would be for someone to buy a book they’d already read if they didn’t intend to. Another friend makes a list of the books she’s read so she doesn’t forget and buy the book again. One woman keeps a box of index cards cataloging the books she’s read.
In the past, I’ve trusted my memory. But that’s not working out for me now. I have too much going on in my head. In the future, more and more people will buy books they’ve read before without realizing it. Imagine if publishers could sell two copies of each book to the same person.
If you’ve truly forgotten the book and you enjoyed it again, that’s probably okay. There are worse things than rereading a good book. But paying for the same book twice could be upsetting.
Have you ever checked out or bought a book you’ve already read? How did you feel about it? How long did it take you to realize it?