Late night shopping for books, women and alcohol


“Make sure you have a beer when you read it, that’s for sure,” the guy at Austin’s BookPeople said as I left with a freshly purchased copy of Charles Bukowski’s novel, “Women,”  just before the store closed at 11 p.m.

I don’t normally go shopping for books late in the evening, but I was cycling back home after a friend’s party to celebrate the arrival of May and BookPeople wasn’t far off my route. Plus, after a precocious amount of Pimms and white wine drunk, I was easily distracted.

Next thing I was tottering rather tipsily among the store’s book shelves. I’ve been meaning to read Bukowski for some time, never having read him before while continually  hearing of his praises in America, most recently from a guy at a bar in New York who recommended reading him if I wanted to experience someone who knew how to write well about alcohol and women.

As these are two topics close to my heart, and as someone who’d like to become a better writer, I thought I’d best see what Bukowski was about:

“I sat about a foot away from her. I looked at her. She looked marvelous. I was afraid. I reached out and touched her long hair. The hair was magic.”

You and me, both, Bukowski.