Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Way of the Bookstore

I spent a significant amount of time in Barnes and Noble today.

I'll be back on Friday, too. I have a lunch date there with my girl, M. She loves books as much, if not more than I do.

Side story: In fact, she made me cry when I walked into work at Christmastime (we also share an office) and a copy of  The Catcher in the Rye was waiting for me on my desk, wrapped in the most beautiful gold ribbon.

I walked out of the bookstore with three books today. Two nerdy school books, and one Maya Angelou classic. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), it's just two days before payday. Thus, less than $30 escaped my wallet on this literary excursion. But I swooned over many-a readable copy, and I now have a mental list of books I just can't wait to read.

But, that's beside the point.

I was thinking, as I was driving home from the bookstore on this beautiful sunny day (it's a gorgeous 60+), with the sunroof open and the windows down, how my favorite bookstore might not be around too much longer.

Don't get me wrong, I love the blogging world. I love the idea of a quick, online read and obviously there is something to it if I'm taking the time to write this blog. But, there's just something about holding the book in your hand, flipping through the pages, folding down the corner of a page of a novel so you don't lose your spot, thumbing through a magazine while the kids play outside on a sunny day, tearing a page out of Vogue, Elle, Time or (don't judge me) People (Confession: I'm a magazine JUNKIE), or hunkering down with a paperback and a Dr. Pepper on a rainy afternoon. I'm not sure what that something  is, but I know it counts.

The tangibility is a treasure in and of itself, and we're letting go of it.

So, I decided that we were going to make a pit stop on the way home from B and N. And as we pulled into the library parking lot, I couldn't help but smile when my four year old piped up from the back seat, "Yay, mommy! We're going to the library to get books!" At least he knows what this place is, I thought.

An hour later, we left with a baker's dozen or so picture books in tow. (Maybe if my 16-month old were acting a little more becoming of a young lady, mommy would have had time to visit Mr. Hemingway or his buddy, Fitzgerald. But emotional breakdown 4.0 for the day decided to bust rank on my plans.)

You know, sometimes you just have to let things go (I'm not referring to my daughters tantrum, but I suppose that's relevant). The way my parents used to pour over the newspaper at the breakfast table, our generation now scrolls through our iPhones and checks out our Facebook feed. We have an innate need to stay connected and the variable is merely in our means by which to do it. I accept it. I'm a part of it.

But the way I reverently turn over my dads old Van Halen, Journey or Olivia Newton John (he had a small crush...) vinyl records, I hope my kids will lovingly smirk at the bookshelves full of classic lit that will/do line our walls. "The way of the bookstore" might be a phrase alluding to something on the verge of extinction, but it also alludes to nostalgia. And I can live with that.


And just for fun, here are a couple that will grace my summer reading wish-list (please add comments with suggestions!!!!!!): 

#1-Modoc by: Ralph Helfer

So I adore elephants. I have many reasons for loving them, but that's for a different post. That being said, anything from jewelry to art to (yep) books that have anything to do with an elephant will most likely catch my eye. But seriously, this (true) story looks, for lack of a better word, beautiful. Can't wait to read it. Check it out: 

#2- Z-A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by: Therese Anne Fowler

I'm loving The Paris Wife, and this seems similar, albeit by a different author. F. Scott Fitzgerald is a literary genius, and that means he was probably a lunatic. So it should be interesting. We'll see.

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