Mysterious Bookstore Crush Actually Just A Confused, Illiterate Man

By Megan Dang

LOS ANGELES, CA — Local BookToker Melissa Ryan was devastated to discover that the mysterious dreamboat she’d been crushing on at her local bookstore is actually just a confused, illiterate man. 

Ryan first noticed James Norton lurking in the Romance section of Barnes and Noble, browsing through Emily Henry titles with a handsomely furrowed brow and a ponderous gaze. “He Red, White, And Royal Blew me away,” Ryan swooned. “I’d let him put a Fault in my Stars any day.” 

Ryan fell even harder when Norton began to pick up a few classics, looking especially reflective as he flipped through a few pages of Beloved. “I’d never seen a man so pensive about Toni Morrison,” Ryan recalled dreamily. When Norton was asked about this event, his memory was a little different. “My friend Tim tell me this book had spooky ghosts,” said Norton. “But there were no spooky ghosts, just small words. James no like small words. Small words hard see. Big words and less pages good. Me like Dr. Seuss!”

Norton then moved on to Dork Diaries and Captain Underpants. “Those books was much better,” Norton said, smiling without a single thought behind his vacuous eyes. “Pictures pretty!” However, Norton quickly grew frustrated with picture books when he was unable to find Waldo and threw a hissy fit. 

Ryan started to get the hint that Norton had the reading level of the average seven-month-old as she watched him gleefully do a Wreck This Journal in the middle of the bookstore—with a Bible. But the true nail in the coffin was when Ryan watched Norton cheerfully flip through It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. “That was when I knew for sure that he was illiterate,” Ryan said grimly. “Nobody who can read can endure CoHo. Nobody.”