Today a small package arrived and at first I couldn't figure out what it was, not remembering ordering anything for a while. Inside was a copy of Maisie Dobbs which I mentioned I have been reading lately on my Nook. I was telling my friends about it but the downside of electronic reading is that you can't pass it around, unless they have an electronic reader themselves with the "Lend Me" feature. My friends still prefer having the pages of a book to turn and haven't made the switch over. I am in that 'inbetween' world where I enjoy my electronic reader very much but I still love picking up a book, and I intended to introduce my friends to this paper version, so that they could pass it around to each other. It was weeks and weeks ago that I ordered it. A couple of weeks ago I had a fleeting moment of wondering why it was taking so long, then I forgot all about it.
Anyhow, back to the package. I impulsively bought it at Amazon.com, noticing that it was a little more expensive but as it was a hardback I didn't think much of it at the time. I opened the package with enthusiasm and after those initial few seconds as I turned to the first page, I realized that I couldn't read it. Why you might ask? That would be because it is in Italian. When I looked at the postmark on the package it came all the way from Rome. That in itself deserves at least three exclamation points. It came from Rome!!! I thought of sending it back but Gregg said I should keep it because he thinks it is neat having a book in another language on our bookshelves.
The last time I bought a book in another language was when I went on a school holiday at 13 to Montreux in Switzerland. In some free time I remember visiting a shop intending to buy a book in French as I was taking classes at school. I chose my book, took it up to the counter and I will always remember the lady smiling while shaking her head and saying gently, "Mon dieu, no, no, no!" She pointed to the book telling me in a way I could understand, that it was too adult for my tender years. It turned out that it was a bit of a racy book, though the cover didn't show it. She was a very nice lady and gave me a more suitable book more in keeping with my age. I thanked her and left the shop. I haven't thought of that episode until I opened my new Italian version of Maisie Dobbs today.
Okay, so buyer beware, though I swear there was nowhere written as I ordered - to be fair, maybe I ought to go back and take a look because I have a tendency to skip unintentionally - but I do not remember seeing written, "Hey you nincompoop, you're ordering a book in Italian and you don't speak the language. Mamma mia!" I think I may be learning Italian, it would be so neat to know another language. The French teacher left my school after we returned and they never hired another. In all the years since I made half-hearted attempts but now I think I'm at a mind to take it a little more seriously. Never too late though is it?