Thursday, November 5, 2009

In Praise of Bookstores

I hate to admit it, but I am a flat out sucker for a Borders or Barnes and Noble. I want to be all "down with the big book chains!!" in a righteous Meg Ryan "You've Got Mail" kind of way. I wish I was in love with "The Book Shop on the Corner," but give me a "Fox's Books" type of store, please. Yes, I'm hanging my head in shame.

This morning, as I wandered through Borders with my grande chai (for the first time this season, in a holiday cup!!! Yay!!), I decided to call one of my best friends, Tress. She picked up her end, and as I meandered through the newly configured holiday-sized stacks, we chatted about our lives. What was up in them, and down in them.

As the conversation got more in depth (you know how girlfriends are, right? Well, if not, read Wednesday Sisters), I found myself sitting in the self-help section--IRONY--in a well-worn, utterly comfortable leather chair. Tress and I batted ideas back and forth, exchanged some deep thoughts (ha!) and had some laughs. I may as well have been in my own living room, for how comfortable I felt sipping my tea and having an intensely personal conversation with one of my closest (yet farthest) friends.

On Tuesdays, I head to Barnes and Noble after my WW meeting. I sit in their cafe, reading blogs, writing in my blogs, drinking my tea and enjoying my place in the world. It is another home away from home.

No worries, I do more than chat on the phone and hog free wi-fi; I give these stores oodles of business. But it's not that I can run in to the store, find a book and buy it that makes these places so special to me. It's the sense of hominess I feel there, and that I can go into any Borders or Barnes and Noble, pretty much anywhere in the country (world?) and feel "oh, this is familiar. This makes me feel safe."


Tress said...

First of all, *hug*!

I went into MY B&N the day after we spoke, merely to hit the Starbucks cafe for my first gingerbread latte of the season. No red cups. Very sad. But this did not stop me from buying a book on my way out.

Do you ever find yourself actually saying "F.O.X." out loud (a la "You've Got Mail")on your way out the door of these places? Cuz I do...

Anonymous said...

homogenity makes you feel safe? is that why you want the whole world do look like USA - stop exporting Starbucks, Coke and all that other crap to the rest of the world please