One of my all-time favorite pass-times on a crisp fall day is wandering aimlessly around a bookstore with coffee in hand, browsing the titles I’ve never heard of and inhaling the scent of ink pressed on volumes of pages. It’s one of my all-time favorites, because I think it has happened maybe twice in my life … when I actually found myself with an unplanned day and no responsibilities … to just lose myself in the lives and adventures of other storytellers.
In fact, I’ve often dreamed of owning my own little bookstore-coffee-shop-flower-stand. All of my favorites in one single location. Imagine the possibilities. I might never leave. But, since bookstores are going bankrupt across the country with the emergence of electronic readers, I’ve given up my coffee habit, and I’m allergic to most flowers, I suppose it’s time to retire that dream. Instead, I’ll just sit here on my sun-drenched front porch, writing my own stories on my laptop, drinking water infused with tea leaves (blah), and looking across my yard sans flowers, in fact … entirely void of landscaping (I guess the builders didn’t think curb appeal was much of a selling feature).
Actually, I’m taking my kids to the library this afternoon. Which isn’t the same as roaming quietly around a book store lost in thought … it’s more like shooshing over them insisting that they whisper for an hour while I try to find some books we’ve not yet read … and something for me to enjoy as well. Because, truth be told, I’ve never read any of my previously-purchased books twice. In fact, I’d be impressed if I’d made it through any of the books adorning my shelves in their entirety, even once. So, why spend money on these escapist dreams when I can check them out and send them back on their way once I’m finished?
I know this isn’t rocket science. Libraries have been around for a LONG time. But I have to be honest when I say I spend more time frequenting my local bookstore, or even Amazon.com than I do at the library. That’s about to change. Not only do I want to teach my children to use this treasure trove of literacy, but as you know, I’m somewhat of a procrastinator. So, having a timeline in which I have to read my books is another motivator for me to actually make my way through the books sitting right in front of my face.