So I’m swanning around Washington DC, and wander into a huge bookshop, with the intention of checking out the garden books. In the pre-internet days we didn’t see any American garden books in Australia, and I’ve still got it in my head that I might stumble on a huge untapped resource of inspiring reading.
I looked high and low for the garden section, and having passed the Photography section, the five (approx) cooking sections, the American History section, the Civil War section, the Architecture section and the Pet section, amongst others, I gave up and went for the door. I was headed off by one of the staff who asked if he could help. By then I was suspecting that the lack of gardening section reflected the general opinion, and that it might be wiser not to admit I was looking for one. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d pointed at me, laughed out loud, and called the other staff over to share the joke.
But he didn’t laugh. He took me to the garden section. The major heading on the shelves (where the label ‘Pets’ went, for instance, at the other end of the store) was the following
The subheading for the part that included garden books was labelled as follows.