I was standing at the bank reading Frederica because even though it is not true that I ‘cannot’ put the book down, it is true that I don’t want to put the book down.
There is nothing like a book that is addictive. It makes you want to read: during that one minute when the computer is booting, during the thirty seconds when your bottle is being filled, during the twenty seconds it takes for someone to pick up the phone.
Back to the bank story. I was standing in line, waiting for my turn and I read about Felix, who is not a ‘little boy’, but an abominable ‘thatch-gallows’. Felix’s sister Frederica warned him not to plague Alverstoke into taking him to see a balloon ascension. But, you see, Felix was not ‘plaguing’ Cousin Alverstoke; he was just ‘asking’. And that’s not the same thing, is it?
A bubble of laughter rose to my throat, but how could I laugh, standing there in a mundane queue? So I looked at the time. I looked at people around me. I looked at the pink withdrawal slips and the white paying in slips. When I felt a little more sober, I turned back to my Georgette Heyer.
And I read about Cousin Eliza, who took Felix’s part, convincing Felix that at least she, Eliza, would love to see the balloon ascension. And it was Cousin Alverstoke’s duty to escort them. And of course he would not mind.
Georgette Heyer being what she is, the bubble rose to my throat again.
I counted the number of bank holidays in the calendar. I counted the number of people in queue.
All too soon, it was my turn at the counter. I had to wait a whole fifteen minutes before I could get back to my book.