10 May 2004

A fine way to waste a rainy afternoon

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.

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