1: 146 Books About Hearts

Garry goes through the revolving door and into the library. The carpets are brown. The walls are light brown. There are a lot of books about. Some are stacked on trolleys waiting to be put away. Some are in people's hands or making holes in the sides of second-hand carrier bags. Some are lying open on tables. They look as if they have been abandoned. They look, he decides, like giant paper butterflies.

After looking around, Garry decides that most of the books are lined up neatly on the shelves. Someone has been along the shelves, possibly staff who are on duty during the night when the library is closed, and pulled all the books outwards so their spines are lined up exactly with the metal edge. It looks very tidy.

Garry walks over to the section of the library that is to do with diseases. Someone else is there. He waits until they have moved on. He notices there is a gap. He notices some of the books have been pushed back against the back of the shelf. He rearranges the books so they line up neatly again and there is no gap. He looks for a book about Heart Disease.

There are 146 books with the word Heart in the title in this section of the library. They take up most of one shelf and half of another.

Garry puts his back-pack down on the floor. He leans over and opens it. Inside his backpack there is:

a baked potato wrapped in cling film
two dairy lee cheese triangles wrapped in cling film
a fork wrapped in cling film
a bottle that used to be for orange juice but which is now full of blackcurrant cordial wrapped in cling film
his wallet wrapped in cling film
a bus timetable wrapped in in cling film
a bottle of super strength waterless hand sanitiser wrapped in cling film
a roll of cling film inside a zip-lock bag

He takes something out of his bag. He fastens his bag back up. He wipes his hands on his trousers. Someone taps on his shoulder. He turns around.

Hello, the person says. You must be Garry.

The person wants to shake Garry's hand. Garry doesn't want to put his hand out. After a while (he counts up to three in his head) he does. He caves in. He shakes the hand.

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