Friday, April 17, 2009

Miles of aisles


I just realized I haven't posted any blog entries in over a week. This is really unusual for me but it goes to show how busy I've been. Things have been very busy at work, and there have been all sorts of distractions at home due to the nice Spring weather. But that leads me to think about spring planting and I promised in my last entry not to write about plants this time, so instead I will write about one of my favorite things . . . bookstores. 

I love a good bookstore. I have been known to walk into a Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other well-stocked bookstore in various locations around the world . . . and totally lose myself. For hours. Bandi and Luni in Seoul. Carmichael's in Louisville. Strand in NYC. Shakespeare and Company in Vienna. Big, little, chain or indie, I love them all. I even love browsing through university bookstores, checking out all the textbooks. (Maybe I should not go so far as to admit that. I'm already geeky enough. But it's true. LOL!)

Everything in a bookstore appeals to me. I will walk down every aisle. I will browse every genre. I will examine every object. Even non-book items, such as journals and music CDs and stuffed animals and those little boxes with kits in them (foot massage kit, stress relief kit, make your own goddess kit, etc.)

Sometimes, I'll admit . . . I've even helped customers. OK, I've never pretended to be a store employee, but I've shown people where the Cookbooks are, led them to certain books they were looking for, and recommended authors and titles. I'm so good at it, that sometimes I'm even better than the people who work in the bookstores. 

I've loved bookstores since I was a child. To be truthful, I love libraries, too. I should love them even better than bookstores, since they are free. When I was a kid, we lived way out in the country some miles away from the nearest public library. But that was OK - because our public library had a bookmobile. This "library on wheels" was a cross between a bus and recreational vehicle. Every two weeks, two lady librarians would drive it to the country store just one mile from our house. I'd fill up my backpack, each time feeling a happy joy that I've only ever been able to associate with . . . unread books. I can't explain it, but hopefully someone out there reading this will at least have a semblance of understanding.

But I digress. I will have to write a separate entry someday on libraries. And more about the two lady librarians, who for some reason reminded me of two middle-aged nuns (the driver of the bookmobile looked a lot like Mother Superior in The Sound of Music.)

Back to bookstores. When they started putting coffee shops in them? Well, that sealed the deal for me. My first experience with the coffee bookshop was in Louisville (and soon after in Bloomington) . . . Barnes & Noble plus Starbucks equals Heaven on Earth. But I am happy also with Borders and Seattle's Best, or Books-a-Million and Joe Muggs, or Independent and Independent.

Just give me a takeway latté and let me roam around the miles of aisles. And I will be content. For a long, long time.