I haven’t gotten out to a bookstore in a bit. We have gone to bookstores because they were nearby where we were at, but to travel to a bookstore for the bookstore alone has been a while. I was excited to visit a bookstore. Ordering from Amazon is one thing. Being in the presence of books is another. And I wanted to relish being in the presence of books, letting the smell wash over me as I searched the shelves for something to read. Many somethings to read.
I know, we are moving soon, why would I want to add new books to the mix? Books are heavy, I wrote that not so long ago and I know from many a move. Yet, I love books. I do not care now that they are heavy. I will only care when I have to move them and much like a lover, you only care about the bad stuff when it lasts for a while. A move is temporary, the books will be forgiven. Before the move I had visions of me reading around the house, while waiting to pick up the kids, and out in public…shocking to see someone reading for fun in public, but that would be me, shocking.
On accident, as in I had no idea the used bookstore was there, we found a used bookstore. BONUS! Through the window we could see pile upon pile of used books and this place was huge. Entering the musty smell of used books assaulted us, always a good thing. Simple signs dotted the walls, bookshelves, and hung from the ceiling giving a rough layout to the store. Books were stacked, piled, and in a few cases dropped wherever they could be fit. We were in heaven.
That label was on every single book I picked up. I picked up a lot of books. I had no cash. I was not thinking cash would be necessary for a bookstore. Every used bookstore I have been in up here has had the modern technology to accept debit cards. Crestfallen, I put each book back. By the time I reached the front of the store I was angry. How long had these books languished here because the owner did not have the ability to accept modern tender? Should I have brought in livestock for barter? Never mind I said to myself and probably out loud, there was the bookstore we originally planned on visiting.
I should have known something was wrong upon entering, but I was in that bookstore haze that book lovers know so well. Science Fiction-Fantasy moved. My go to section was no longer where it had been for five years. Over there, the employee pointed. Over there, turned out to be no bigger than some of the bookshelves that I paid $10 for…less than 150 books and none of them new. Why deity! Why deity? What had I done to irritate the book deities?
Very little sci-fi, fine I headed over to cooking and broke down in tears. Celebrity cookbooks everywhere. Celebrity cooks are fuck all useless to me. If I want celebrity food I will head to the nearest fast food Applebee TGI McFucksters and in Big Rapids you do not have to travel far for that. I wanted real cookbooks by real cooks and chefs. People who I knew of because I keep up with cooking the same way a doctor should be keeping up with modern medicine…something went wrong with that analogy. The point being celebrity cookbooks are good for staring fires and giving away to people who don’t know anything.
Bowed, but unbroken I slumped over to human sexuality, the last bastion.
A single solitary lonely unwanted unloved book surrounded by self-help books.
I vowed to save that book, Classic Sex Positions Revisited.
Saving that book made me feel slightly better. The look on the cashiers face checking the book out, priceless.