The instructions are:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Donâ€™t search around and look for the â€œcoolestâ€ book you can find. Do whatâ€™s actually next to you.
The closest book is Tops and Bottoms by Noel Streatfeild. Since I am writing my Uni treatise on Streatfeild, all her books are handily shelved on the bookcase nearest my desk, and this one happened to be at the end of the shelf. The fifth sentence on page 123 is the rather uninspiring “Beaty looked ashamed of herself -”.
Tops and Bottoms is definitely not one of the better Streatfeilds, and I’m not actually referring to it in my treatise, but it was the closest book to hand. At least, it was the closest book to my left hand. The closest book to my right hand was the Dreamweaver 3: Using Dreamweaver, but I’m not sure that a several-versions-old software guide really counts as a book; and, in any case, it was about four centimetres further away than Tops and Bottoms. Amazingly enough, at this precise moment in time there are actually no books lying on my desk – the ones that were there about an hour ago are currently in a pile on the floor. Had I not cleared off the desk, you would have got a sentence from Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception – or maybe Booktalk: Occasional Writing on Literature and Children.