Sunday, August 3, 2008

What is it about Bookstores?

I went in to Borders to buy a boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia. Kyra's birthday is Thursday, we just saw the movie, she is an avid reader, and heck, I need to read them for MY book club. The set is all together but it's wrapped up in plastic wrap which really makes it less appealing to me. I looked at the individual ones and was tempted. The covers were so smooth. The pages had not been bent. It was a story just waiting to be told, just to me, nobody else. But I went for the set, so the set I bought.

On the way out I considered the buy 1, get 1 half price table. More books with fresh covers. Some had raised lettering, some had pictures, one had a whole in the cover revealing the picture on the next page. Ooh, it has been so long since I purchased a fresh book! And look, there are titles I've heard of. Ones that have been recommended and/or are now movies that I will never go see. Marty and Me, Wicked, Atonement, Those Who Save Us, ...and several others that I can't recall. I want them all! Novels with no purpose other than sheer enjoyment and interest to me. I even think about the many dollars that I owe the library and consider that buying these books might even save me money in the long run. Hmm.

So what is it about bookstores that make you yearn to have these precious new editions of books that you will only read once and then maybe pass on to a friend? Books you are sure your friends own and will loan you, or that you can get much cheaper on Amazon. Books that you know you don't have time to read and might just sit around for a year gathering dust until you finally get to them.

My mother-in-law loved to read. I think she read everything that was ever written if that is possible. If it was on Oprah's list, she had it. If it was a NY Times best seller, she'd read it. I can only imagine her at a bookstore. I can't believe I never went to one with her! I would have left with treasures galore or the promise of, "you can borrow that, I have it at home." Bill's mom was the one that bought Billy all the Harry Potter books as they were written. She had them delivered the day they came out and he was so excited. It was her influence that got me to pre-order the last one.

Nothing sat on mom's shelf unread but she understood when it sat on mine. She was the most understanding and non-judgemental person I think I've ever met. She was inquisitive and could talk to just about anyone about just about any subject. She was a housewife with a high school diploma and a drinking problem, and she was one of the greatest women that I have ever known. She cared about you and your friends and she loved to hear what was going on in your life. I think she really would have loved to talk books with Jaylee and Tori, home births with Crystal, education with April, crocheting with Bridget, politics with Amanda, piano with Sara, mothering with Rachel, Native American traditions with Monique...and the list goes on! She would have taken it all in and loved you all!

So I ask again, what is it about bookstores? What is it that makes you miss people so much?!


btg said...

I have VIVID memories of my mom reading when I was a kid. I would get home from school and she was reading all the time. She also worshiped the sun. In the winter, she would be sitting on the couch by her reading lamp. Any other time, she was out by the pool, sunning as she read. Book after book after book. She had the darkest tan you could ever imagine! I wish her love for books had passed on to me. She was a wonderfull lady and I miss her greatly!

Jaylee Draney said...

There's something about being in a bookstore that makes you feel smart. You absorb the books through osmosis or something. When I worked at Chase, there was nothing more I liked to do than go to Borders and write down all the titles of the books to add to my ever growing list. But, I buy maybe two books a year because 1. they are expensive 2. they are a waste of money when you can get it for free 3. they take us space. But, even with those points in my head, I still struggled. I wanted to read them new and now. I hate waiting on the lists at the library.

Rachel said...

I love your mother-in-law now too. Maybe we'll be mothering friends in the next life.

My friend once shared a scripture that talked about, "When you read the pages of this book..." and how that will bring the spirit and testify of the truthfulness of the gospel (I know it's more powerful with the real scripture but I don't have the time to look it up darnit) and she said that on her mission she saw a huge difference between people who were illiterate and literate b/c when they read the actual words of the BOM their hearts were touched. She said that's why she can't abide the reasoning of "God puts everyone in their place for a reason so we shouldn't worry about people in developing countries who can't read/eat. God will take care of them." Yes, He will, but through US! And he wants them to be able to read his book!

Wow, sorry that was a tangent. XOXXOXOXXOXOXXOXOXOXOXOXXO to you.

Crystal said...

The reason that I love bookstores even more than the public library is because I love to write comments and ideas in my books. I feel like books really are having a conversation with my brain. I know it's silly but I can't refrain from writing in them. I always feel bad for people who borrow my books and have to suffer through all of my crazy notes.