Hundreds of books adorn the wood-and-metal shelves in the Young Adults’ section at the Eaton Centre’s Indigo. The books generally fall into one of two camps: their covers are either brightly coloured with expensively-dressed models, or are dark and moody, with words like “paranormal” and “thrilling” in the descriptive blurb.
One book has a creamy ivory cover with its title, The Lost Crown, written in purple and white. It has an image of a blonde girl, looking down at her light, lacy top and string of pearls. Another is a picture of mist on a black background, with big, red, gothic letters reading “Misfit.” Along the top, an author named Holly Black has written that this book is “a diabolically delightful paranormal.”
Two university-aged teens sit on the beige carpet with their backs against the shelves, their winter coats strewn around them. A boy and a girl, cuddling while the read. They look up at one another and smile sheepishly every few minutes. The boy eats a granola bar, and offers a piece to the girl. She declines with a small smile. She starts to hum along to the tune of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” a Spanish version of which plays over the speakers.
Above the shelves where the couple sits, a word is printed directly onto the taupe wall. “Teens,” it says in a big, white, serif font.
The song changes to Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da by the Beatles shortly after two high school-aged girls enter the section. They laugh, and point out books that they want for Christmas. They wear school uniforms; one girl has a backpack thrown over one shoulder. She picks up a white tube which was sitting in a wooden vase with its mates. “What’s this?” she asks as a customer and an Indigo employee approach the section.
The couple, still sitting against the shelves, leans closer together in order to begin a conversation spoken in hushed tones.