I was gone for a while on a business trip. I love traveling on the company dime. Nice hotels, a per diem, towncars vs taxis. It's great.
Everything went so smoothly on this trip (the airport, hotel reservations, traffic, etc..) I was beginning to worry. Surely the plane would crash on the way home, right?
But no, I'm alive and everything went swimmingly. I'm not complaining, just surprised.
So, for some reason on my last bookstore trip I purchased Of Human Bondage and The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham.
I read The Painted Veil in one day. I started Of Human Bondage and it took a bit longer to read because of all the descriptive inter-musings of the narrator.
I couldn't wait to get back to the book to see what Philip Carey was up to, though.
After that, I read all the short stories I could get my hands on.
I found that the local library had The Razor's Edge so I checked that out but that very same day, I decided to visit a used bookstore. I went there with the idea that I would have to dig for a battered copy of a W. Somerset Maugham book if I was lucky. I was willing to be happy with that.
As soon as I walked in, I was drawn straight to a matching set of hardbound books. I had to blink a few times because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was a set of Maugham novels!
I knew they would be more than I could afford but I still asked the shop girl how much the whole set would be. She said she would look it up but it would take a few minutes. I had just walked in so I didn't mind looking around for a while.
She found me a few minutes later with the set of books in her arms and said "Is $17 ok?"
"Each?" I asked, unable to hope.
"No, for the set."
I grabbed them before she could change her mind.