I went to a used bookstore today. It’s been several months since I, and likely many of us, have been able to do so. The store requires you to wear a mask while inside, and that was no trouble. In fact, I think it could be fun to get a Cthulhu mask or a Luchadore mask to wear for my next visit. Can you imagine how fun it could be, wearing a Cthulhu mask with its long tentacles gently caressing the books as you shop? And you do this while perusing the dusty shelves filled with volumes on anything from medieval history and science fiction to The Kama Sutra for Clowns.
I love books and going to bookstores. Because of this I have a small, personal library at home. Or basically enough books to fill up one of the Donner Party’s cannibal wagons. Or maybe three of them. I digress. I am also one of those types of people that has a large stack of books on my “to read” list. I know I’ll read them someday. Sooner or later. I swear. Why are you rolling your eyes at me like that? The thing is, is that pile of unread books will never stop me, or any book lover, from buying more.
One reason for this is I’m easily distracted by new releases. All book lovers are. That’s part of the book shopping experience. We know we could be reading something we bought months, or even years ago, and just as we’re about to pick that book up, we happen to find a newly released book by Jim Butcher!
Honestly, all book lovers can sympathize with this. Favorite authors always take precedence. It’s basically like having plenty of food to eat in your kitchen, and then you see a taco truck. Obviously that taco truck overrides anything in your fridge. Always.
Because of this, us book lovers rarely don’t have a book to read. An unintended side effect of this is that the stack of “not-yet-read” books grows taller and more unstable with each passing bookstore trip. I’m sure that someday, the teetering, wobbly tower of tomes and paperbacks on my nightstand will eventually topple over onto my bed while I’m sleeping, covering me in an avalanche of fantasy, history, and adventure fiction. If that ever happens to me, send one of those Saint Bernards with a small barrel of Irish whiskey around its neck to dig me out.
If you’re ever at a bookstore with someone like me, and you’re short on time, you’d better put them on a leash. Or attach a chain between your belts to keep your book lover close. If you don’t do this, be prepared to lose them amidst the aisles and aisles of ink-encrusted former trees. You won’t see them again until they’ve returned with an armload of new books on subjects like seafaring, Hobbit home construction, tiny dragons, their third copy of the Harry Potter series (it’s a new, leather-bound edition…damnit!), and a step-by-step manual on becoming a Sith Lord.
I honestly believe that books are a good thing for everyone for the most part. They can enlighten you, teach you new things, pass on important information, make you laugh, or transport you to new worlds. If you’ve never been interested in reading, then perhaps you haven’t found something that interests you. I didn’t become interested in books until I discovered the epic, sword & sorcery fantasy of The Lord of the Rings, and The Sword of Shannara. Find a subject that captivates you and draws you in.
It could be a crime thriller, one of those “stabby stabby” murder mysteries.
It could be a “boy meets girl, they fall in love, and together open a chinchilla petting zoo” style of romance novel.
Or it could be a space-faring science fiction adventure, full of lasers, gunships, and strange aliens that look like they just emerged from the darkest depths of a hostile jungle planet. Or Florida.
Perhaps fiction doesn’t interest you at all. You might be more interested in personal growth, and you’d prefer reading books that help you learn about yourself and be a better person. That’s perfectly okay too. I’ve read my share of them as well.
Reading books can also be a great stress reliever. Honestly. Take some time out of your busy, hectic schedule, and devote some time just for you with a good book. It doesn’t matter what that book is. Even if that book is The Kama Sutra for Clowns.