Today I found myself decompressing from an eventful weekend full of my family, computer problems (I failed to turn in my journal assignment-can I say the dog ate my hard drive?) and muggy weather. While my family has spread out again and the computer is up, the rain and mugginess stuck around. I was fighting feelings of lethargy from the moment I got up today, and around three I gave up and decided to waste the rest of the afternoon in a Barnes and Noble.
I suppose a mid-afternoon Monday in May is not prime book selling season, but I was surprised at how empty the store was today. Normally when I go to this particular store it is way too loud and there is not a spare chair anywhere. Today it was more of an accomplishment to see someone sitting down.
I get the strangest feeling sometimes when I am in a bookstore. I love books, so I should be in heaven whenever I get the chance to browse, but sometimes I get a feeling of intense depression. It usually starts after I see the tenth book that I remind myself that I have been meaning to read, and it escalates after I remind myself that I've wanted to read "Ulysses" since 1987 or so. There's not enough time for me to read everything that I want to. I have had waves of intense sadness come over me at times in bookstores because I realize that I could spend every breathing moment of the rest of my life reading, and it wouldn't be enough. When I die I will leave behind a wish list of reading that I will not have gotten to as big as a dictionary.
I fought off some of those feelings today and enjoyed the time that I spent browsing before I sat down and read a few chapters of Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life." It was interesting enough for me to purchase it, and it will help pass the time this weekend when I fly out to California. I'm not sure why I bought a book that had religious and spiritual overtones, perhaps it has something to do with the way being in a bookstore normally makes me feel.
I worked retail for a long time, and I have a saying that I use quite frequently: "You can take the boy out of the store, but you can't take the store out of the boy." I am tempted to go to work in a bookstore someday but I think I will always resist it, because I do not want books to become just an everyday thing for me, something that I see everyday out of obligation to make a living.
I'd hate for my life to cometo a point where I do not feel that longing, that despair to read everything whenever I am there.