I visited a bookstore the other day and as I was browsing, I overheard the bookseller recommending The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo to a customer looking for a gift for a 10-year-old girl. Yep. A 10-year-old. The bookseller went on to say that is was a bestseller and that girls everywhere love it. I was standing two shelves over and practically peed my pants. What???
I edged my way over to see the sort of idiot I was dealing with. The customer looked okay, NORMAL if you will. She then asked if there was any graphic content because this girl’s parents are very religious and careful about what she reads. The bookseller pushed her magenta-streaked hair out of her face, cleared her throat and said that it was a tad mature but very readable.
At this point I was looking for a nice way to butt in, but the customer must have sensed something because she came right over to me and asked me if it was appropriate for a young girl. I went on to explain that there is a very violent rape scene, numerous mentions of sex along with various sexual acts and that the language is quite graphic at times. Oh, and did I mention that in Sweden the book was called Men Who Hate Women and that there is a domestic violence theme running throughout the entire novel?
The customer was very good. She simply said “Thank you”, placed the book back on the shelf and walked out. I can’t say I blame her. I gave the bookseller the evil eye. I mean, what in the world was she thinking? I’m not sure the bookseller has even read it. Perhaps she saw “girl” in the title and thought Little House on the Prairie or something. Can you imagine what would have happened if the customer had decided to BUY it?