Sunday, April 27, 2008

That Book Store Smell

You don't have to be a reader to notice the smell of a book store the minute you cross the threshold. I can't quite put my finger on it...something clean yet musty, paper'ish AND published, expensive yet necessary. If you close your eyes, the smell conjures up favorite paragraphs and even whole chapters from the best books you've read. I just love a good book store.

Of course, my book store has the gigantic magazine rack right at the front door so I'm immediately sidetracked. Their subject categories far surpass any drug store or grocery store impulse mags, and it isn't often I can stand and read a magazine about horses or yard art or men's style. So, I spend a few minutes there before asking for help to find the books I want.

Come on! Show me someone who can go right to the appropriate section, author and title in under five minutes and I'll show you someone who needs to get out more. There are LOTS of people in book stores who need to get out more, and why would you go to a book store and sit and read if you weren't looking for another 'someone who doesn't get out much.?' They look it...pale, pasty, thin and with outdated glasses.

The people who work in book stores don't get out much either and they smell of 'book,' don't they? They're always very helpful in that hushed, book store kind of way. One mus'nt speak over a loud whisper in a book store...people, that is, except me. I guess I just want others there to know that I'm a READER when I speak in a normal-to-a-little-louder-than-normal voice, "Can you help me? I'm looking for "The Success Principles for Losers." They usually whisper in response, "Oh, yes, we have only a few copies left...right this way." Hmmmm...a few copies left which means that there have been a lot of losers looking for a book to dig out from under whatever is holding them back. Although I am far from a loser, I duck my head anyway as the pasty lady leads me to that section...I'm sniffing in as much 'book' smell as I can and stroking every book cover on the impulse tables along the way.

Although I love online places like Amazon, you can't beat a good book store. If I could ever pry myself from the self-help section, I might discover worlds beyond, but I'm one of the ones trying to dig out and they have shelves and shelves to help me. And their book markers are FREE!


PS-If you ever read another book, read "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls! That the woman is still standing at all is AMAZING after a childhood like THAT.


Oooo...I love book stores too. I always head straight back for the Astrology section. I always get my Gemini /Sidney Omar book of predictions for the year. I have to get it in June for the next year because if I wait till November they are all gone. That's because Geminis love that stuff. The Gemini books are all gone by then but the Taurus, Capricorn and Libra books are still there and none have sold. Those star signs think the whole thing is ridiculous and we Geminis, Pisces and Aquarians think they are a bunch of unawakened, earthbound garden gnomes.

I buy the astrology calendars that tell where the moon is every day and have flowy, lavender and Prussian blue pictures of fairies and symbols of planets. I know where the moon is every day and what it does to me. I watch out for moon in Aquarius. On those days it's good to just go to the book store and look at cocktail books that feature pictures of gourmet foods, ocean views and naked men. (The Twenty Hottest Firemen is my favorite).

You can get the Cranium Game at the book store and that is the funnest game in the universe. Just go buy one and then get some booze and three of your best friends and play it. You will laugh so hard you will roll on the floor and your friends will call you the next day to plan for the next time to play it. This is amazing since you and they made complete fools of yourselves trying to hum 'I Did it my Way', imitating bungey jumping off a cliff, or making putty look like DNA.

They have fun 'impulse items' at the book store. Who can pass by a pen with a one-inch teddy bear on the end of it? Everybody needs a bookmark in the shape of Texas and you know you need that tiny, hardcover book called, 'Why Cats Paint.'

Go to a bookstore if you are bored. And while you are there pick me up a book on 'How Not to Embarrass Yourself', a calendar with pictures of whales, and a hard copy of 'Bookstores of Schnectady.' I hear they have some good ones.



Mental P Mama said...

I agree...and, didn't you want to give The Ancient One a big hug after The Glass Castle?

Bear Naked said...

I want to work in a book store but I know I would not be able to afford it.
I would end up owing them at the end of the week.

feefifoto said...

I dream of spending an entire day lounging in a book store leafing through whatever looks interesting, but I know that, even though thousands of people do exactly that every day, I'd be the one the staff would tell to stop loitering and buy already.