I'm not complaining about my addiction, mind you, I'm just stating my case. I'm stating my case because yesterday I did something I thought was impossible...
I had plans to meet up with friends, but when my friends said we should all meet at this big, beautiful bookstore, my first words were, "Now, y'all know I can't go in there. You KNOW what's going to happen. I'm going to HAVE to buy some books." They just laughed at me and told me I'd be fine. They know me better than that - I was not going to be fine. We were going to meet at a BOOKSTORE.
I think bookstores are so beautiful. It doesn't matter what kind they are, I love them all. I love old antique bookshops, second-hand bookstores, children's bookstores, and little market square booths of books. They are precious, wonderful, magical places.
When I entered this particular bookstore yesterday, I was met with two floor levels of books. I had to pause and just...take in the full presentation of books. I could see both levels of the store from the front door. I had to breathe in deeply - nothing else smells like a bookstore. I got the biggest grin on my face. Then, the madness began...
I'm going to allow you a rare look inside the head of an addict:
Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. I LOVE this place! Bargains, bargains, bargains. Where are the bargain shelves? Gotta check those first. Let's find those hidden treasures other people overlook...
No surprise there, right?! Dang, I'm good!
Oops, there's another. Let me see...don't know the author, but...(reading the summary)....sounds good. Nice set-up. No praise quotes from the ignorant magazine book reviewers...that's a good sign....yep, it's a keeper.
Now, let's find the speciality tables that are set up for browsing: New Fiction, New in Paperback, Classics, Seasonal, Readers Recommend, New Authors, Staff Recommends,...oh, goodness, it's delightful!
OK,...OK,OK,OK...I have two books. Yes, I know I don't need them - but I really DO. Ooooh, this one looks interesting! Kim, you do NOT need another book. You have PLENTY at home to satisfy your need to read....WAIT - I don't have THIS one. Ooooh, and the summary looks really good! Whose the....ah, yes, who told me about this one? Said it was a must read! OK, I'll put back the other two and just get this one,...but the price on the others are bargains and they look like GREAT reads - how can I pass THAT up? Obviously, this store is aware of my particular addiction, and they enjoy tempting and teasing me. I'm sure of it! I want almost everything I see! Crap, there's the new Hosseini book I MEANT to read over the summer! I forgot about that one...
The school year just started, HOW I am going to read them ALL?!?!
I can't. I can't read them all...right now. I'm turning into Burgess Meredith from an old Twilight Zone episode. Breathe, Kim, breathe. Pace yourself. Think this through.
Now, normally, I don't try to resist. I do try to budget, but I'm never happy leaving a bookstore empty-handed. Oddly enough, something in me decided it was time to fight my addiction. It was getting a bit out of hand.
How did I do it?
I began to think of all the wonderful books I have at home that have been on a long waiting list to be read. I thought about how many times I put another book, a recent purchase, in front of a book I had owned awhile. I thought of Patrick Rothfuss. I remembered how long I'd owned his book before I opened it up and found the wonderful world he'd created in The Name of the Wind. It sat on my shelf far too long before I gave it the time it deserved. I had ignored it for lesser books.
I have many wonderful books at home that deserve to be read.
I decided to walk around the bookstore and enjoy the atmosphere. I walked around every part of it, and I really enjoyed watching other people find books they wanted. I loved looking at the displays and browsing bookmarkers, magnetic quotes, and beautiful journals.
In the end, I put back the two books I had picked up. I did note them on my phone for something I might like to purchase and read at a later date. I smiled a sad smile at the two books as I placed them back on their proper shelf. I had given them false hope by carrying them around. I felt I was abandoning them when they begged to be read. I knew, though, someone else would discover them. I was happy to see so many people in a bookstore on a Sunday afternoon. I felt sure those books would find a good home with another bibliophile.
Now, did I conquer my addiction? I did for this one day. I take some satisfaction in that. I also take satisfaction in knowing that it gave me a renewed appreciation for my own personal little bookshop at home. :)
I am very thankful my older brothers raised me right. While I was not born when this Twilight Zone episode originally aired in 1959, I have seen it (and appreciated it) many times over thanks to my big brothers. I also have them to thank for exposing me to other fabulous shows such as Night Gallery, Alfred Hitchcock, Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes, M.A.S.H., and Saturday Night Live. :)