Mar 12, 2012

Bookstore browsing

Yesterday afternoon found Ben and me on an impromptu afternoon date. We drove to Barnes and Noble (the closest one is about 20 minutes away), and spent a few hours browsing titles. He and I have different taste in books so we stayed together for a bit, but eventually split up to do our own thing.

You see, I've been in a reading funk for the past week or so. Sure, I've still been doing book reviews here, but that's because I've been catching up with everything I've read so far this year. But between the birthday planning and more birthday celebrating, I've been tired and everything I start I haven't been able to get into.

But yesterday afternoon when I walked into the bookstore, it soothed my soul.

I haven't been in a bookstore in awhile - I have plenty of books I own that I haven't read, and I tend to have a list to get in and out as quickly as possible, because I know it's dangerous to my bank account if I'm in there too long. But yesterday there wasn't any pressure - maybe because it was crowded, so there weren't staff members asking me if I needed anything, or maybe just because I was embracing spending time with Ben, but it was lovely.

I spent the whole time in the U.S. History aisle.

I've been feeling a little disheartened lately - with the world in general, and how things are changing (or not changing). I needed something to read that would be encouraging, but real, and I wanted it to be truth, not fiction.

I sat and read bits of books, and titles of others. I murmured "excuse me," as I crossed in front of people, and smiled when I saw books on various conspiracy theories. I escaped into another world, one I'd forgotten was so necessary to my spirit.

When Ben found me later I felt refreshed, and in a totally different mindset. We didn't buy anything...but we didn't need to. And we decided we will be going bookstore browsing a lot more often.

Have you ever felt this way in a bookstore? Have you ever forgotten what this feeling was like?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ah yes, I love afternoons like that. I haven't done that in a long time because I don't trust myself in a book store w/ my book buying fast going on and all - I haven't been inside one since our Chicago trip!

I do love the feeling grabbing the book off the shelf, reading the synopsis, and feeling excited that maybe this is my next great read! I have gotten better about not buying all the books I am interested in, and instead I put the names of the books in my iPhone and request them from the library. :)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

I definitely feel ups and downs with reading - I'll race through a pile of books and then the next week have trouble finishing even one title. (The exact same funk happened to me after reading Unbroken - I loved that book, it was so intense, and I felt so involved that I had trouble picking up another book afterwards.) When that happens to me, I usually opt for a "palette cleanser" - a YA book or something easy/quick/funny to read to get me back into reading again.

Book stores always relax me, but they are dangerous for me to browse. I've always ordered books through Amazon to save money and this year my goal is to spend $0 on books, so I'm relying on the library and unread books on our shelves that we already own.

Anonymous said...

What is it about a bookstore that is calming? I find this at the library too. I love looking through the various titles and just seeing the diversity in topics and ideas out there. So inspiring.
I have to second the fatigue on books as well. I find that after I devour three or four in quick succession that come the next book, I get a little antsy with reading & have to go for a week of solid movie watching before diving back into reading.

Holly said...

I love spending time in bookstores, but I'm horrible at "just browsing". I always seem to leave with an enormous stack of books that I won't have the time to read for months because I already have a pile of library books on my nightstand that needs to be read first!

Amber said...

I LOVE browsing in bookstores! Eric does not enjoy it as much as me though so I usually only get an hour in there tops when I'm with him :) I also LOVE the smell of new books!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I love browsing. I once read, The Secret Life of Bees in its entirety waiting for my husband (then boyfriend) to get out of a night summer class so we could head of town for the weekend.. I did speed read it.. but man.. i love B&N. I used to study there.. ahhh..

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I LOVE love love LOVE browsing in bookstores. It's actually something I'm really concerned about because I don't buy books often at all, and I feel bad not helping to support the bookstores still in business! I just went to B+N last weekend to buy some baby books for a shower and I was so happy to give them some money/business :)

Mandy said...

I have a soft sport in my heart for book stores. I'm glad that you and Ben had a great time going on a book outing for a date. Do you enjoy reading memoirs? I always enjoy an inside peak into someone else's life.

One of the activities that i've taken to is going to the local book store (oh how i wish it were a B&N) just to get out of the duplex.

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