“James, dude, are you like, even doing any of the reading?”
The question was fired at me from three spaces over. It caught me by surprise a little, but not for long. I fired back, fingers crossed behind my back:
“Of course! What do you mean?”
“Well, dude, your book is so clean. It doesn’t even look like you’ve opened it!”
I thought about this for a full half second before replying:
“Well yes, but yours was used when you got it – how do I know that you’ve ever opened yours?”
He looked at me, rather like a soppy dog looks at a newspaper.
“Ouch, dude, very ouch.”
I said: “You can’t judge a book by its cover, nor a reader by the state of his book.”
I opened the shiny pages for him, revealing highlighting and a few notes in the margin. He smiled.
“I’ve opened it,” I said. “Just not as much as I’d like.”
His thumb went up and his tongue popped out, slightly off to one side:
“Cool, dude. Cool. You’ve just got to muss it up a little.”