How hard can it be to find a copy of Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild? After all, it’s the movie’s opening weekend. It got great buzz at the film festival. Sean “I will smoke at my press conference” Penn directed it. Not to mention Krakauer’s status as the best-selling author of other books like Into Thin Air.
Turns out finding a copy of the book takes me about as long as it took Christopher McCandless – the book’s subject - to get to Alaska.
At the Chapters next to the movie theatre formerly known as the Paramount, I’m expecting to see one of those obnoxious displays, “From Page To Screen” or “Reading Movies,” or something like that. Should be easy, right? After all, THE STORE IS RIGHT NEXT TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST FUCKING MOVIE THEATRES IN THE CITY…
Nope. Just Heather’s Picks, New and Noteworthy, shit like that. My friend and I, who just saw the movie the day before, scour the main floor’s promo shelves and tables twice before heading up to the stacks upstairs scratching our heads.
“What’ll it be under?” I ask. “Biography? Adventure?”
“Dunno,” he says.
“There’s gotta be a display there.”
Wrong again. After circling the 3rd floor, momentarily sidetracked by the bargain Biography section, I decide to visit the store's self-service computers. Key in the title, wait for it to do its thing.
“Okay, looks like there are eight copies,” I say. “And it’s in this section called Sports/Survival.”
Now, where’s Sports/Survival?
I ask my friend, who took a master’s degree in library science. He doesn’t have a clue. We finally ask a clerk, who shepherds us across the store to the hard-to-find section.
There’s the book, with the cover image from the film, in the middle of nowhere. As we flip through it, I swear, not five minutes later, some other clueless soul comes up, guided by another clerk, and picks up the book and walks away.
Duh. There's obviously the demand. Order more books, people. Put up a display. Reading books should be the adventure. It shouldn’t be an adventure trying to find them.