What Ferrarans Are Reading

I arrived at Mel Bookstore early on Friday to give myself time to explore the place before the time came for my reading there. I asked my editor why it was called ‘bookstore’ and not the Italian word for it, and the response was that many of these bookshops use that word to look more hip. Dear God, I thought, do they really think that using the American word for libreria might make people read? Anyway, as always when I am outside the U.S., I’m always startled to see what American titles are stocked by foreign bookstores. This was my first surprise: The huge stack of Walt and Mearsheimer’s new book, The Israel Lobby:


Schmaltzy best-sellers were everywhere. Here’s Io & Marley:


Of course, the bookstore had its fair share of chick-lit, in this case from Britain:


And no contemporary bookstore would be complete without burqa-lit. Look at this: The Veil of Fear, I think the title says. I’m surprised there aren’t flames rising from each letter.


It was a nice surprise when I stumbled on this huge stack of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The cover said that one million copies were in print in the U.S., which surprised me, until I remembered it was on Oprah.


Anyway, take comfort where you can find it. People in Ferrara, Italy, are reading Cormac McCarthy.


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