Monday, February 27, 2012
Confessions of a Bibliophile...
Now ain't that the truth? So tell me: what's your favorite book to "sink into"? My list is oh so very long. But recently it's been The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And Midnight in Austenland. And The Devil in the White City. And Death Comes to Pemberly. Did you know that I simply adore the smell of books? My very most favorite thing to do in the summer time is to go to King's English (an awesome independent bookstore that's been built in an old house) when it's raining. Why raining, you may ask?
Because King's English is so old that they don't have central air. Just a swamp cooler. So the humid smell of the swamp cooler mixes with the delightful smell of thousands upon thousands of book to create a perfume that I would purchase should anyone ever bottle that incredible mixture. Does this make me crazy? Quite possibly. Do I care? Not even a little bit. There is something entirely magical about a bookstore. Especially independent stores like King's English. Call me a hipster if you must, you definitely won't be the first.
As much as I like shopping for books on Amazon and reading them on my Kindle (Amazon would have to do something completely horrible to shake my loyalty), part of me craves the sensory experience of shopping for a book. I love chatting with the sales girl at the register about what a sweetheart Shannon Hale is and how much we loved her latest book. I love that they have 'recommendation' shelves where employees get to list their favorite books and why they loved them. I love the faint smell of coffee that always seems to linger in the fiction section and they way the light comes in through the window just right when I sit on the bench to read the first few pages of each of the huge pile of books that I want to buy.
I love going to the Shannon Hale loving sales girl and asking her to tell me why she loved The Elegance of a Hedgehog more than The Lenningrad Madonnas. I love the sense of community that a bookstore creates. For just a little while, you're all friends. It's not odd to recommend a book to a stranger or ask the opinion of someone you'll likely never see again. I don't think there's anything more satisfying than that.