I walk into bookstores so often that it is no longer an impulse, but a habit. Books nourish the mind. I walk very fast when I enter a bookstore. My unconscious is looking for something in particular and this is a process I’ve learned to just let occur.
Sometimes it happens — sometimes not.
A book snags my attention. Before touching it there is a moment where I stand at arms length away, staring, waiting to see if it feels right, clutching my reading glasses in case I’ll need to put them on. It’s not that I am judging the book by its cover; it’s far beyond that. I’ve come to learn that certain books exude something indefinable that pervades their close-bound pages.
More often than not, this moment fails to satisfy a mutual connection so I walk on to the next book where I repeat the process; but maybe this time the mysterious soul of a book will reel me in just enough to pick it up and finger through the pages. This way I can begin to physically feel it rather than just sense its presence.
I’ve encountered many books that I could not possibly part with; like strangers on the streets with gleaming eyes that reflect interesting and untold stories, a curiosity begs you to discover and explore those stories you are supposed to be a part of. This affliction explains why I go to bookstores rather than to libraries. I can take the book home and decide to keep it forever and part with it when and if I choose.
My favorite books I do take home. I place them on a shelf where they are held between bookends that resemble the heads of two lions. Occasionally I’ll spend an evening with a book, or perhaps a morning before the sun comes up. The lions guard the books when I am away or until someone comes along who needs to get to know a particular book more than I. In this case I have no trouble parting with it and I gladly pass it on.
But then the next time I head to the bookstore, that same book seems to bat its eyelashes at me, like a forsaken lover. I buy it. Perhaps I’ll read it again or perhaps I’ll keep it because I think its important and I find it inevitable that someone else will come along once again that will need the book more than I.
Books communicate with something deep within. They stir your sense of adventure and beg you to join them on a journey. When your soul mingles with that of a book’s the two are agreeing that something exists that is waiting to be found.
I love books just as I love people. Books give me inspiration and this I want to share with those I cherish as well as those I barely know.
Books have a life of their own. That is why I love walking into a bookstore. Each time there is a chance that I’ll find a love that has always been waiting for me.