Each time I pass by a bookstore, I try to walk fast, look the other way – not even breathe until I’ve rounded a corner or something. I do this because I know my to-read pile at home is still quite substantial, not to mention the .epubs begging for attention on my iBooks.
I try to remind myself of saving up a little so I must let it pass, because if I go inside, I sure won’t come out with only one title. This strategy works… for about half hour or so, after that I always find myself retracing my steps towards what I avoided, abandoning my fake self-restraint and just giving in to my cravings.
Ah, bookstore! Setting foot inside you is like diving down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Entering your doors creates that head spinning sensation similar to falling in love with a boy for the first time, but only better for I trust you will not break my heart. Walking around, breathing your air, being surrounded with words from wall to wall – it’s the beginning of a good romance a story.
There is something about going around the isles, touching the spines of the books, and smelling all the paper that is extremely pleasurable. Somehow I feel like a princess on a thrown, being presented a wide array of suitors that I examine one by one as they catch my eye, and I have the supreme word on deciding which is worth my time, which I want to spend hours, days with, all my life remembering.
As I walk, titles will just jump out at me and there are moments when, in that instant, I know I’ll like it and I’ll get it. I don’t know about love at first sight with people, but with books, I revel in it. Sometimes it’s the title, maybe the cover, or an intriguing teaser at the back, but most times you just know.
Other times, a book catches my attention but once I feel it in my hand and try to scrutinize it, it won’t feel right so I move on. Of course it doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes; I do. Still, sometimes everything calls to me, vying for my affection, and I’ll want to take them all like a hoarder, like it’s my absolute last chance to do so, like I’ll never get enough, ever.
I love squatting down in front of bookshelves, making sure I’ve seen everything, and checking out book publishers and editions to see which is better. I walk around and around several times, I don’t think I shall ever tire of it. Mostly it’s about the entire experience, than simply buying a book, or 10.
The joy of finding a title I’ve been searching high and low for, I treasure; it’s the best. I remember looking for a copy of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry last year, only to be disappointed time and again, and finally several months ago, I turned my back inside a bookstore and it was right there, as if it was waiting for me all along; a gleeful moment, like wanting to meet a person for so long and finally getting the chance. It’s beautiful.
Bookstores are always promising; something magical. It seems no matter how many books you read, there will always be stories you have never heard of, quirky characters you have yet to meet, sensations you have not even thought of, and places and realms you need to discover. It goes and on and on, and I think that is one thing I really like with what reading brings… it’s a lot like life.