Recently, while researching off the beaten path things to do in New York City : for my long awaited dream trip... I came across 'The Strand Bookstore'. 18 miles of books, it said! EIGHTEEN MILES! I also wondered how I would get out of there, If I dared go in.
My choice of career has really changed since I was small- I was going to be a vet. Then I was going to be a nurse. Not long into secondary school, I decided: No! Firefighting was for me. This became long term, and stays with me to this day. All I had to do was a case study on the local firefighting station. It seemed too much to my sixteen year old self. There's still time..... But the dream that never ever wavered, was my love of books. A modern Matilda: I craved books. I read the gospel during long car journeys, out loud, and made everyone answer the responsorial psalm. The sacristy man thought I would become a female minister. I thought I would become a librarian.
There's nothing quite like a bookstore. If I like the look of a book, I pick it up. On those new pages, that nobody has touched. is a story that needs to be told. As big a fan as I am of EBooks, to me, nothing compares to the feel of the spine of a book resting in my palm. If its a big heavy book, it rests on a cushion. Tatty, Ratty, Torn, dog- eared: whatever state its in I will take it. Bookstores are my haven. If its raining, I'll head for the bookshop, charity shop or Library. I just find myself there..looking. Online bookstores are just not the same. Yes, you can see if the book is available, how much,and when you'll have it. I DO get books from online stores. But, I'd rather browse the shelves in a bookshop, even if I have a specific book in mind, If I have time...I'll browse. That's how I have discovered some of my most favourite finds. 'Angels Crest' by Leslie Schwartz was a treasure of a book, nestled away in a group of cut price novels.
My earliest memory of being in a bookstore, is still fairly clear. I was wearing a grey coat...and Lo and behold on the front cover of a big book was another little girl wearing a grey coat. I remember picking it up and I can still see the front cover. I have often seen small children looking at picture books in shops, and they laugh away heartily. You can't witness that on an online bookstore....or the old gal with the crime novels, grinning away to herself as she puts the shiny new Mo Hayder book away in her shopping bag. I'll keep reading E Books, but Bookstores are my heaven, my haven. You can't beat opening the door and walking into a room, or rooms filled with books.
"This is my entry for a competition held at www.thebookplex.com".