It’s funny how some things just stick and feel so comforting. When I was younger I spent a lot of time hanging out in bookstores. My mom and I would go out on a Friday or Saturday night to the local Borders or Barnes & Noble, grab a coffee (I was hot chocolate at the time) and go our separate ways for a few hours. I would walk over and listen to CDs getting excited when the technology finally allowed you to scan any CD in the store and you could listen to it. I’d wander to another section and skim through a magazine or walk over and find a book that grabbed me with a catchy title, sit and look through it.
Fifteen years later and in gratitude to my mom, this is still one of the things that I love to do occasionally. When I’m bored, when I’m in a not so great mood, or I’m eager to check out a new book; I’ll go and sit in a bookstore, latte in hand, and melt into another place for a while. Last Saturday night, I revisited this favorite pastime of mine. How appropriate that the bookstore I landed in was an old movie theater with the marquee still intact. It gave it a unique charm. Sadly, there was no in-house coffee bar and it lacked some of the warmth that your typical Barnes & Noble would have (warm lighting and lots of seating) but I was happy to be around the books and exploring a new place none the less.
I know that times are changing and it’s becoming rare to have nights like this as more bookstores close or go out of business. I, too, am guilty of the ease and cost of ordering online, but nothing replaces the feeling or the experience of physically being around books. I’ll continue my love affair with bookstores until the last one closes, and my optimistic side hopes that day never comes.