I watched with bated breath the arrival of a DHL shipment at Ben-Gurion airport. This could be the moment I have waited for.
The DHL plane was carrying a cargo of between 3,000 and 4,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in an initial delivery, with hundreds of thousands more to follow.
But the virus antidote was not what I wanted to see. Somewhere, mixed up with all the little vials, should have been six copies of books from Amazon.
Not any just books, but my books. Books I have written over the last several years and are now waiting to see the light of day. I have, of course, got the e-books loaded on my Kindle but these are hard copies, real books, destined for pride of place in my bookcase.
With the coronavirus changing the way we live, the way we work, shop, and spend our leisure time, we see many interviews with the famous and important. Invariably, these interviews take place in an office against a backdrop of bookcases crowded with books. We cannot quite make out the titles, they could be anything from D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. We assume that the VIPs are an example for us common folk and have read every one of these important volumes.
Occasionally, the interview takes place against a backdrop of rather chintzy wallpaper, with not a book in sight. Would you trust someone who didn’t read Decline and Fall before retiring for the night?
I glanced at my own bookshelves. The empty space waiting for the Len Palmer Mysteries looked back at me. Perhaps I should find something to fill the space, just until DHL brings me my books. A quick Google for ‘fake books for display’ brings up dozens of suggestions, False Books, Fake books, Dummy Books, even the rather confusing Fake Dummy Books. For the intellectually minded there are Faux Books.
I decided to wait for DHL. If Sky News wants to interview me for my views on the pandemic and the Palestinian issue, it will have to be in the garden with not a book in sight. They can use my solitary olive tree as a sad reminder of Palestinian loss, even though I planted it myself some fifty years ago. Sky News has never let facts confuse the program’s viewers.
Readers who have not yet caught up with the adventures of Len Palmer can find the books on Amazon. I’m sure that DHL will be able to squeeze them in.