CSNPB Director, Dr. Steve Wilson, said it was high time for the establishment of the center. "We've known for a long time that there's more to the average bookshop than meets the eye. Over the years, too many people have reported sightings of non-paranormal books. It's time they were taken seriously. This center aims to bring these reports together and provide a resource for further study of this fascinating phenomenon."
Sceptics are understandably amused.
"How many years have people been prattling on about the supposed existence of these books?" declared Martha Ball, President of Science in Bookstores. "I'll tell you - since the time of Wuthering Heights. Where's the evidence, huh? You go into any bookstore, any time of the day or night, walk into the YA section and find me a non-paranormal book. Until that happens, I say phooey!"
Dr. Wilson remains unfazed by contrary views. "Look, only last week, a young man in Delaware saw a non-paranormal in his local bookshop. He even took a photo."
When contacted by the press, Patrick Plunkey, of Newark, was initially reluctant to talk about his encounter, claiming he was still too 'spooked'. Eventually, he was persuaded to tell his tale.
"I was, like, in the shop, looking for a present for my kid sister, and I was standing in front of the shelf. Then I saw it. About third row down on the left, between Twilight and Touch the Dark. A book about pirates. I couldn't believe it! It was just there, looking at me. I even snapped a photo with my phone. It's kinda blurry, like, 'cos my hand was shaking so bad."
Experts from the newly formed CSNPB have studied the photo, using the latest digital image enhancement software, and are convinced of its authenticity.
Explained Dr. Wilson: "Look, you can clearly see the spine, if you hold the photo at this angle and kind of squint your eyes. It's definitely a book about pirates. No question."
After the supposed sighting, remote cameras and image sensing technology were stationed throughout the store in the hope of capturing a better image of the non-paranormal book. "It's kinda creepy, you know?" commented Bill Blunk, a member of the research team. "You're sitting there in the dead of night, deep in the YA section, and you get this prickling sensation in the back of your neck, like someone's watching you. Then you turn around and realise it's the life size cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson."
Efforts to capture further images proved fruitless, and after a week the study was called off.
"It's a complete joke!" said Martha Ball, when asked about the photo. "Look, I accept that it might be a book about pirates. But even if it is, if you look at it really closely, the guy leaping over the gangplank with his cutlass up, about to hack into the enemy? He has fangs. Oh, and he's sooooooooooooo cute, too."