When I was around 26 or 27 my good friend Mark Schaeffer (whose name I'm probably spelling completely wrong) gave me a used copy of Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America for my birthday. None of us had much money back then, and we were all fans of used bookshops as a matter of economy and principle. I don't find used bookstores quite so magical anymore. This is perhaps because all but one or two of the magical kind I knew of have long since gone out of business. I don't read as much now either, what with the internet consuming so much of my free time. I really enjoyed the book and read it several times over. There's something magical about Trout Fishing in America if you read it at the right time in life. The novella had a major impact on my aesthetic sensibilities in ways I no longer recall but still act out.
That one blonde girl said she had enjoyed In Watermelon Sugar, so we swapped books. She was right, it was good, but I prefer Trout Fishing. She never returned my book, nor I hers. I haven't seen either of these people in years. It's a shame about Mark. It's not quite as much of a shame about the blonde girl.
Time marches on, because Time is something of a callous bastard.