Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Love Affair

I have been having a love affair for years. Actually for as long as I can remember.  And, though the names may change, there is always love.

Older is always better... there is just something about their smell.  It is warm and musky, with just a hint of wood.  The smell is captivating, welcoming, like the embrace of an old friend.  And their offerings are always better too. Classic, with a sense of abandon, thrilling, yet heart-warming.

My love affair is my escape from reality.  It is the time I carve out for myself, or sometimes steal away.  Sometimes it leads to a roller coaster of emotions, sometimes just pure delight, fear, enlightenment, or even horror.  No matter what it evokes inside of me, it is always worth it.  Always.

My husband knows about this love affair, supports it, even.  Sometimes, he even admits that he wishes he had one too.  I guess in a way he does.  His 'object of affection' is different, seasonal.  His love is hunting.

Not mine.  Mine is always available... Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter.  What is my love?  My love is... a bookstore.   Any book store, but like I said, older is always better.

There is just something about an old bookstore, with its mix of old and new books, old wooden shelves, and the leather covering the old chairs.  I get sucked in... EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  It is almost impossible for me to pass by one without stopping in.  And, if I don't go in?  It is anxiety producing!

I can vividly remember going to the library as a child.  I was in love with the book The Tale of Tom Kitten (1907) by Beatrix Potter.  I remember being encouraged to check out something besides that book, because I would check it out every time we went!  I loved it; I still do.  And, now, I read it to Emma.

Looking back, I am surprised that I liked it so much.  The language is quite archaic; and I am sure quite confusing to a child.  But, somehow, even at such a young age, I got it.  It made sense to me.

Now days, I go to the 'chain' bookstores like Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble, because they are convenient; but they aren't quite as intoxicating.  They don't mesmerize me.  They don't call out to me like an old store.

I have been known to sit down in an old bookstore, in an old leather chair and read an entire novel.  These sittings usually require a 'classic,' something like Tolstoy, Faulkner, Welty, Dickens, or Eliot.  And, what makes these sittings better?  Finding a copy of the book with pages that are yellowed and just before brittle, with just a touch of dust on the cover.  It is like finding the Holy Grail!

But, I am not afraid to grab a work by a barely known author.  I love to find a 'new' author.  Especially, an old author that is new to me.

And, I also love reading present day authors.  One of my favorite present day authors is Lee Child.  He has a collection of "Reacher" novels (Jack Reacher is the lead character) that absolutely take over my life when I read them!  I wait each year for a new one to be released.  And, once I get my hands on it, I can hardly tear myself away.

My current interest... Stieg Larsson.  His books, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, have me intrigued.  Not to mention the fact that the author passed away shortly after delivering the manuscripts!

I always hate for a book to come to an end.  But, with the end always come the excitement of knowing, as well as the excitement of returning to the bookstore on a quest for the next great book!  My husband supports this love, even hopes that it might rub off on him.  However, if nothing else, he hopes that I can instill it in Emma.  So do I!

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