Death By ReadingMature

"No," Ambler said, taking the book from the shelf, "I think I'll take it now."

"But, you've got too many already," said Julie, "way too many. Where are you gonna cram this one?"

He had to think about that a moment.  "Well," he said, absently tapping the book's spine, "there is some room left on top of the kitchen counter, or will be, once I clear away the toaster."

"And how, exactly, are you going to make toast, then?"

"Simple," replied Garren, "the oven -- will get more use out of it that way."

She thought about pushing the issue -- reminding Ambler again that his money would be better spent on anything but another book -- but had really stopped caring at this point.  "Fine," she said, heading to the cash desk, "whatever.  Can we just go, now?"

"Go...yeah, don't see why not.  Oh, what's that?  A hard-cover copy of the Silmarillion?" 

"Damn it, Ambler."

"Pull-out maps...."

"Ambler, come on."

"Illustrations by John Howe AND Alan Lee...."

"And he's gone."

"Crap. 125 bucks.  Last one, too.  Well, in that case...."

That was it.  The bastard could find his own way home.  Julie thundered out the front door of Baelor's Books and climbed into her old beetle.

"If I never see a book or him again," she said to herself, shifting gears and merging with the post-rush hour traffic, "it will be too soon."

She did see Ambler again, though,  and all his books, too. 

His face was blue -- not surprising, as one particularly large tome had been crammed down his throat.  After she'd identified the body, Julie learned that he'd left her his apartment and everything, including his entire library.

"Here's hoping this isn't the biggest mistake I've made." she said the day after she'd moved in.  It wasn't the biggest, but it was awfully close.

The End

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