Friday, November 14, 2014
The Magic of Bookstores
Have you ever found yourself perched on a too-narrow shelf at the bookstore? Your feet extended across the floor, keeping you from sliding off? Or cross-legged on the carpet? Or propped against the wall? Or, if you're the lucky one who spotted it first, the stepstool an employee left in the Fantasy section? Barnes & Noble used to be littered with overstuffed chairs to serve this purpose, and has since removed them, but that's another conversation all together. Have you ever opened a book, just to peek, and had to sit down right there in the middle of the store and keep reading?
I read the first couple of pages of a book when I try a new author for the first time. It's all in the telling, for me. I know, on page one, if I want to read the rest. And sometimes, I'm so ensnared by page one that next I know, someone with armfuls of shopping bags and a huge puffer coat is shoving past me with a breathless, perturbed "Excuse me" and the zipper of her jacket is slapping me in the face because I'm sprawled in the aisle.
I smile when I see other shoppers doing the same thing, draped across those narrow metal shelves because they can't tear their eyes away from the page. Not the roving bands of teenagers with no place else to go, shrieking and laughing, but the real readers, the ones you search alongside and step politely around because you both understand that this isn't a social place; this is where you come to get lost. There's something magic about a bookstore.
I'm looking forward to a book shopping trip soon. And maybe a weekend to disappear between the pages. I spend so much time writing, and where do I go when I get a free moment? Back to books.