Where your books went

Graphic Vivien Leung

In late August, I ordered a $3.00 book, with a $12.00 shipping fee, from the U.S.

A week later, I received an e-mail informing me that my book had been shipped and could be expected on Oct. 26.

At first, the two months between the book’s shipment and arrival both confused and frustrated me. Since then, I’ve begun to realize there are quite a few legitimate reasons for such a long wait.

Possibly, the book’s original owner had a family trip to Montreal planned and thought it was wisest to just bring the book along then.

Or maybe, the owner is shipping in thousands of Chinese workers to build a railroad up to this great city, along which my book will travel. This would, of course, explain the large shipping fee.

Perhaps the book will literally be shipped to me. Placed on a large naval vessel with a tireless crew and fearless captain, it will travel around Cape Horn in order to come to me a well-travelled piece of literature.

Of course, my sellers could have also entrusted the book to their own beloved carrier pigeon. Knowing, however, that “Turbo the Pigeon” does not always live up to the speed his name suggests, they informed me that I really shouldn’t expect the book much earlier than Halloween.

Whatever the reason, I trust that, as always, the good people in America have a fully reasonable argument behind this seemingly ludicrous action. Perhaps my book has an Arab-sounding last name?

—Julia Wolfe,
Layout Editor

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 06, published September 21, 2010.