Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hard copy

It was months ago that Impossible first showed up on the New York Times bestseller list for Children's Paperbacks (The "Children's" designation always sounds odd to me, but we won't quarrel.) And it's been back several times since, on and off. At first, of course, making the list was a thrill, and more than enough reward. As time wore on, however, something was missing. When Nancy dreamt of making the list (and, trust me, dream she did), the image included the actual New York Times, that is to say the off-white, foldable, ink-smudgy hard copy that can pile up so quickly in the entryway. She did not dream in web page form. And a clipping from a hard copy makes a great memento. We like our talismans, even if it does look funny to spell the plural that way.

But one of the quirks of the hard copy form is that not every list is printed each week. The NYT publishes several lists, and one of the drawbacks of the old-fashioned form is that there are space considerations. They may print all the news that's fit for same, but that forces them to make hard choices about what is and isn't fit. And they've apparently decided that their readers don't need to see each and every list each and every week, which is as may be. The result of this for Nancy was that, given the vagaries of timing, her several irregular appearances on the list (up to eight as of this writing) somehow never managed to coincide with those weeks in which the Children's Paperback list was printed up in the hard copy.

Four months later, the stars finally aligned, and there it was! Impossible, in smudgy ink, on the very list of Nancy's fantasy! We quickly purchased a copy, and snagged another from a friend (we read our NYT online -- see previous note on entryways), and voila! We now have it!

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