Let's All Go to the Bookstore
Let's just pretend we're going to the bookstore today. It can be any kind: new and vast with shiny books everywhere, a coffee bar in the corner, lights that make you want to linger and buy, buy, buy. Or it could be an old bookstore with that musty smell, creaking wooden floors, dim rows of shelves with clothbound and soft-spined paperbacks. Where do you head? To fiction, or mysteries, or sci-fi? Do you dare go into the romance section and pull out a thick novel with half-naked Fabio on the cover? I like to go to the used magazines and see if there are any old issues hanging around, or maybe some weird art or music mag. Then I slowly walk through fiction and see if there's anything that catches my eye. I read the back cover, read the first few pages . . . I really like old, forgotten paperback that has some weird element like time-travel, or one human against the world, or introspective-sappy romance.
Records are next. I'm always on the lookout for Rick Nelson, or some old folk/country artist, but today I'd look for Christmas records from the 1940's-1950's, or some Vivaldi or Beethoven.
Do you get coffee and look over all the books you've collected? Maybe someone is playing live and you get to hear a few new songs. Maybe you eavesdrop on a conversation between two teens and how horrible their lives are because they can't afford the blouse on page twenty of Vogue. Or two guys who found a car mag and wouldn't it be sweet to own a car like that? A guy and a gal who don't know what they're going to do after they leave, maybe catch a movie or go to a bar for a real drink.
You stand in line, long for this time of year, and try to ignore all the merchandise that you just have to have but you've already given in a few times and found you really didn't have to have it after all so today you're going to pass. The line moves forward and someone bumps into you. Another person smiles when you look their way. That sweater you put on is really starting to itch and you wish you were outside where the air is fresh. "Next!" You pay and leave. It's snowing outside and there's slush at the curb. The wind blows and you adjust your coat and all your books and forge your way to the next shop or to your car way out in the parking lot.
So, what did you buy?