Mr. Penumbra 24- Hour Bookstore & Jpod : Based on True Story

September. School is starting. Bye summer, bye social life. Let’s get through this…

First day back to school, English class is going good so far. The professor is pretty cool! Class is going to be a breeze!. Oh wait…spoke too soon. All of sudden the assignments start piling up, books need to be read cover to cover, essays due, exams! Is it December yet?. Reality sucks. So, lets start with the first book: Mr. Penumbra 24-Hour Bookstore. We have Clay, Mr. Penumbra, Neel and Kat as the main characters. The theme of the book is friendship. Perfect! Im totally getting this. Google and books are symbols of old and new technology. I’m getting all this terminology down, I got this. Then the professor starts asking the hard questions. So what does he/she symbolize?, How does the setting contribute to the development of the story?, Point of view?, Digital culture?… and Jpod needs to be read by next class. Wait, wait rewind. Everything was making sense, class was looking pretty awesome and now all of a sudden we are finishing Jpod and here I am still trying to understand what Kat symbolizes. Fine, moving on. The second book is Jpod, written by a Canadian author and the setting of the book takes place in Vancouver. That’s awesome, I’m definitely going to understand this book. I’m reading and reading and I’m done. Friday is here, class starts and the professor starts again with the confusing questions what is intertextuality?, setting influences our perception of the story?, pop culture and living cartoon profiles?. Great. So confused again. But that’s not it, this gets better. Next class comes around and the professor walks in, the room gets all quite and he starts by saying “Class, there’s something you need to know. Clay isn’t just a made up character and his story is real”. What the hell? I was waiting for the “just kidding” at the end of that sentence, but it never came. He continued on, “the character of Clay is me, Kat’s character is actually my wife in real life, Neel’s character is my bestfriend and Mr. Penumbra was the librarian that worked at my university campus”. Long awkward pause and then he started again “the j-poders exist and they helped me create the 3D model of the bookstore and my wife manages their company now, so don’t worry rest assured there won’t be any turtles in any video games”. I’m sitting here and I feel like I’m watching the end of a movie, when everything is revealed and flashbacks of scenes appear and you go “oh my god! that’s how that happened. He was in it too!”. Okay, so I read my professor’s adventure with some weird book cult, everyone is real, the whole thing actually happened.

Many of us probably felt that the everything piled up so fast in matter of days and next thing we knew we were writing the exam. Some of us might still have questions, maybe we still don’t know what symbolizes what or how we apply this to that. As you we reading this, were you able to identify the major theme in the story? Were you able to relate? Do you think that being able to relate to themes makes it easier for us to receive and understand the story better?