No question, if Erotica sections were filled with tales of book shopping with Pulitzer Prize winners, I’d be buying erotica. As it stands, the Paris Review is content to give me what I want.

Writer John Lingan browsed through a used-bookstore with Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda. The ensuing article is a great read:

Dirda’s haul had become unwieldy. “At this point, I get a box,” he said, and then disappeared around the corner, leaving me amid the walls of neon fonts and cartoon rayguns. When he returned he held up the old cardboard and explained, sage-like, “Always get one with handles.”

A little more evidence:

They’d both worked at the same crummy D.C. bookshop decades ago. “No money, we worked for trade,” Dirda explained. I took this to be the book-addict equivalent of being “in the shit.”

Read on.