A Comfortable Affair

Monday, March 31, 2008

There's something I've been needing to get off my chest for a while now. I hate having things on my conscience, especially something of this magnitude. I mean, something like this affects every area of my life, so it's time to finally come clean, clear the air, etc.

Are you ready for this?

I have a love affair with books.

Shocking, I know. I bet you didn't see that coming at all, especially if you have known me for any length of time. Not that I was a bookworm for most of my childhood, or anything. Not that I was reading 1000-page novels at the age of 12 or anything. Not that I have shelves full of "books-to-read," and even more shelves full of "books-I've-already-read." Nope, you must be thinking of some other girl.

Um, okay, so you're not.

By extension, I also have a love affair with bookstores. I love the dusty, musty used bookstores with overstuffed chairs, every inch covered with stacks and stacks of books. Remember the bookstore that figured so prominently in the opening scenes of The Neverending Story? (You have seen The Neverending Story, haven't you?)

I love the smell of those stores. How the paper on the books is usually yellowed around the edges, or slightly smudged and gray from being enjoyed before. I love how you can find treasures there that no longer exist in a new-book bookstore.

BUT! I still love new-book bookstores. Especially ones that sell legal and addictive beverages laden with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. It is even better if they are also slightly trendy, sell music and movies, have a huge, inviting children's section, and have lots of big overstuffed chairs (with not a single inch covered with books), just begging to be sat in. I could spend hours in these stores, lost in words, sipping tea and frappuccinos, reading about the history of Etruscan mythology (from whence my name is derived), the clothing styles of the 18th century, the reason for the scarlet-coloured A on Hester Prynne's dress, how to knit high-fashion items, this season's hairstyles, the unfolding of history on Dune, the peculiar habits of hobbits, the evolution of jazz music, who the mysterious Nephilim were, what is in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, how traditional foods are prepared...

Ahem. You get the picture.

Sadly, due to only having one very small bookstore in this town that is neither musty nor trendy, and not an overstuffed chair in sight (not to mention rather ridiculous prices), I now do most of my book shopping online. I sit in my functional office chair, sip my plain-Jane-everyday-tea, and imagine the smell and the sound and the feel of the books and the bookstores that I long to be in.

In all honesty, this has allowed me to spend more money on books, and less money on overpriced, sugar-laden beverages, so I should be thankful. Plus, the book you want is almost always available on-line, and in the store? Not so much. And on-line sales are pretty much the bomb! However, there is just something to being able to scan through a book before you buy it to make sure it is actually the one you want, y'know?

I am feeling a little bookstore deprived: one of the things I most look forward to on my trips to Red Deer is a good solid couple of hours with my Honey, some books and Starbucks. That didn't happen this time, with the way the trip worked out. Oh, there was Starbucks--a hurried run through the drive-through. I even entered a bookstore twice--a hurried run through Chapters to find the bathroom for three little boys (and an unfruitful search for the title I had expressly gone in to find), as well as a hurried run through Scott's Parable to grab a CD for my mother-in-law (with a quick, almost-random grab at a few new albums for myself) as a thank-you for her babysitting services. But no leisurely browsing was to be had anywhere. (At least I was fortunate enough to discover a new favourite band out of all the rushed shopping.)

Fortunately, I saw this coming before I left, and had the foresight to forestall any bookish cravings I might have.

Today, my Chapters order came in the mail: A scrapbook journaling guide, a creative writing textbook, and a creative writing for kids book.

From the looks of this blog post, all that writing help is not a minute too soon!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find an overstuffed chair, my new Casting Crowns CD, and some tea...

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  1. Ahh....I totally agree. I just started my "book fund" change jar. And The Neverending Story? Loved that movie...

  2. Book Fund Jar. I love it. I'm going to go saw me a slot in a jar lid right now. Okay, maybe not right now. Tomorrow! Yeah! Now: must... sleep...

  3. Two parents that loved to read left you a great legacy!! I'm glad you're passing it on to your kids!
    Love you lots!


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