I caress the spine, dragging my fingers along the back and slipping my fingers into the folds.
“Your so beautiful, I’ve missed you so much.”
The man next to me moves away slowly, staring at me…intrigued perhaps…It’s not every day he sees a grown woman talking to a book. He smiles as he exits the aisle and heads off to find his own…
Yup. I went to a bookstore this weekend and it was glorious..blissfully fulfilling and if I may be so bold…Scrumtrulescent.
It has been so long since I have walked the aisles; brightly colored scenes catching my eye and dragging my hand towards a hardback or a shiny new spine. It was heaven. Too long have I stared at the cold corners of my white nook, clicking through page after page..thats right.. clicking.
I can honestly tell you that I stood in an aisle this weekend with my eyes closed, fingers flipping through book after book…not reading….just taking in the crisp swish of page on page, and reveling in the smell of fresh ink and that whiff of whatever makes a book a book. Oh glorious weight.. how I have missed you.
Then there is the pull… the pull that drives me to pick up not one…not two, but three books at 15-22 dollars each, sliding them neatly into the crook of my arm. To be honest I had originally picked up 7…but I limited myself to 2… So three is what ended up sliding across the counter. 58 dollars ladies and Gents. Fifty Eight Glorious dollars…and it was the most satisfying thing I have purchased in a very long time. When I look at my nook, or a kindle…an Ipad..or any of the other various Ebook readers out there on the market… I don’t feel that pull. I don’t hop online, holding my nook and think…”Man..Can’t wait to flip through page after page of book titles and authors… get my book fix for the day.” If I hear of a good one and I have to read it at THAT very moment I will get it on my nook…If I have to go to work, and there is no way I can carry the 5-6 books I will read a week (which there isn’t) I will buy it on nook… So where does that leave me? It leaves me with an electronic contraption filled with my prized possessions and a Library that is dwindling. I say prized possessions, but I don’t really mean it. They are somehow empty, void of the beauty and excitement that the books of my childhood hold. When I finish an Ebook.. They are simply stories on a screen..A tale that I can click back through…or not.
This is because Ebooks do not have the pull. They don’t suck me in with their vibrant colors or remind me of different times in my life. I can look at the loose pages, the tea stains..the rips, the tears that litter my library and every single one of them tells a story, all their own. I don’t glance through my nook and decide to reread a story because the spine drags me back to time and a place that I was happy… I simply click through and find something I have not read…I suppose I forgot what the pull felt like… and I can honestly say that it was wonderful to feel again.
I picked up book after book, reading the backs and tickling my fingers across their covers. (People must have thought I was crazy, mumbling sweet nothings, my sighs of longing and love echoing through the shelves) I reveled in the weight of the pages, each book’s thickness a testament of will power and creativity. I smelled, I smiled, I loved. I found one that particularly caught my eye. Completely wrapped in plastic and strangely void of any real definite clues to its content, I had no choice but to purchase Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer by Peter Turchi….A present waiting to be opened!
Bookstores can never go away, because without the pull that a real book gives, the passion of reading will dwindle. I don’t care that I can buy them online for 8 dollars cheaper, or that I can slide my nook into a case and bring thousands of books with me to any given place, I will always love the weight of parchment and the smell of must that comes with an old favorite.
Books have been my friends since childhood, they have guided me through enchanted forests, loves I will never know, and into mysteries of natural and unnatural origin. They have shaped me as a person, molding me into someone who loves deeper, forgives easier, and understands more readily.
I am me..I am better for having books. So, after this weekend…my glorious trip to the bookstore, and the gentle reminder of why I became interested in writing in the first place I want to say this.
Thank you old friend, I have missed you.