Jules Rose leads a quiet life working as a librarian. He’s happy to spend his spare time reading books and talking to his homicidal cat. What more could he wish for? But when his cozy Friday night is shattered by a friend request on his book community app, politeness gives him little choice but to accept. Jules doesn’t want to talk to anyone, but he can’t be rude. Besides, if he had to talk about something, books is the topic he’d pick.
Phoenix Ford is dyslexic and avoids everything that has to do with the written word, but when the colleague he’s trying to impress calls him stupid, he decides to convince the other man, he’s mistaken. All he needs is the right book to make him look smart, a perfect balance between intelligent and short. And who better to ask for help than a guy who loves books so much, he labeled one boner-worthy on a book app?
When Jules finds out Phoenix never has read a book from start to finish, he’s on a mission. He will find the right book, the book that will make Phoenix fall in love -- with reading. Phoenix’s plan might have been to listen to the book Jules picked for him to impress his colleague, but that was before he got to know him. Talking about books is a sure way to Jules’ heart, but is it enough for him to agree to go on a date?
He turned on the TV at ten to watch the news and prepared for bed. It would still be for the best to create a back-up account, to be on the safe side.
Right as he slipped in under the covers, the phone flared up with a notification from PictaBook.
SexyDoornail69: Sorry, I got distracted. You were saying about book recommendations?
He was saying? Jules frowned and typed: Right. What do you like to read?
SexyDoornail69: I don’t, but if you have something short, like, short-short but still cool enough to impress a guy, I’d be grateful.
Jules wasn’t good at reading people, and reading them through written text was harder.
ReadingInACorner: How old are you?
Better get it out of the way so he didn’t recommend adult books to a fourteen-year-old.
SexyDoornail69: 29, why?
Twenty-nine? Perhaps not YA books then. He typed: Wanted to make sure I didn’t recommend inappropriate books. I thought it was for a school project.
SexyDoornail69: Hell no! I’m trying to impress a guy. We fooled around, but now he won’t date me because he thinks I’m stupid, so I need to read a book or two.
Jules frowned. In his experience, guys were seldom impressed by someone for reading books, at least not the guys he’d been with.
ReadingInACorner: Perhaps reading isn’t the best way to impress him?
SexyDoornail69: I’ve already slept with him, so I think he’s impressed. I need to prove I’m not dumb.
Jules reread the sentence twice before snorting. How should he reply?
Luckily, he didn’t have to.
SexyDoornail69: Do you have any short books that are good?
ReadingInACorner: I have several short stories I think are good, but it doesn’t mean you’ll like them. Tell me what you like, and I’ll see if I can find something fitting.
SexyDoornail69: You want to know what I like?
He ended the sentence with a flirting emoji. A blush warmed Jules’ face in the dark of the bedroom, and he hurried to type: Books! I meant books.
Jules stared, a smile stretching his lips.
SexyDoornail69: To be honest, I don’t know. I’m dyslexic. I mostly get by on autocorrect on the phone, and, apart from a few texts, I don’t read or write much.
Dyslexic. Jules tried to remember audiobook titles, and there were apps that would read an ebook to you. They weren’t as good as real audiobooks, but he’d tried a few to see if he could recommend them at work, and it was an option.
ReadingInACorner: Do you like sci-fi or fantasy or are you looking for something contemporary?
SexyDoornail69: I don’t know what you mean.
Jules sighed and typed: Okay, do you want the characters in the book to fall in love or not?
SexyDoornail69: I honestly don’t care. I need to review a couple of books to make it look like I read them. Can I copy some of yours?
No, no, no. Now, Jules was set on helping SexyDoornail69 find something to read and enjoy.
ReadingInACorner: I’ll make you a deal. We both read the same story, and after, we compare notes.
Jules fidgeted when no reply came. He shouldn’t care, but he wanted SexyDoornail69 to at least get through one story. There were people who didn’t enjoy reading, but he firmly believed it was because they hadn’t found the right book. He was on a quest now -- he would find SexyDoornail69 the perfect book!