Friday, November 19, 2010

An ode to bookstores...and libraries too!

I love libraries. But you know what? I also love bookstores. Yes, I realize this is the age of Amazon.com, where you can search for and purchase just about any book (or anything else, for that matter) you can think of, and have it delivered right to your doorstep without leaving the comfort of your bathrobe or being particularly web savvy. Don’t get me wrong: I’m an avid user of Amazon, but just like browsing the shelves of your local library, there’s something to be said for actually going into a bookstore and taking in the scenery. Getting lost in the aisles and running your fingertips along the book spines, waiting for the moment a title catches your eye and makes your acquaintance. Care to spend a quiet afternoon together? Some of my fondest childhood memories were of trips to the mall and beelines made straight to the bookstore, where I would sit quietly in a corner and get lost in the pages of a new friend. And, if I was lucky, I’d get to take that friend home with me. Of course, I did this wherever books were sold or loaned, because bookstores and libraries were—and still are—sacred places to me, and just being in a room filled with bookcases stuffed to the gills with books makes me giddy. I once overheard a little girl in the library exclaim after breathing in deeply, “Ahhh, now that’s the smell of knowledge.” It was absolutely wonderful. So here’s a suggestion for you: take a field trip. Whether it’s to your local library or bookstore, you decide. Hopefully you’ll visit both, but regardless, just get out there. Look around and touch and breathe it all in. You never know what you'll find--or what may find you.  

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