I am just back from a trip to NYC and what do I have in my luggage – almost 30 books – and I am beside myself with joy! Books bring me such pleasure. I spent the weekend in NYC where admittedly the shopping is great and yet my hunt is always for old bookstores.
I get an inexplicable feeling when I am in a bookstore. For a few moments I am in a world full of great artists who have poured their hearts and souls on to countless pages in order to entertain or teach or just share. And in NYC there are eclectic and eccentric stores that carry vintage and war torn books that for me carry the magic of having been read or browsed by a myriad of other souls. And I am now blessed to share their former presence and lingering aura. There is always a little coffee counter in the corner and the brews are always always always the very best – perhaps even more tasty because of the setting.
I love the tactile touch. The smell. The awareness that an old book in particular (I have some from the 1800s) has lived many lives before me, sends my mind into imaginary places wondering what the lives of previous readers was like.
Equally though differently, I also treasure new publications. I appreciate the time and effort that authors pour into their work and rarely is the occasion when I do not source some inspiration or new found wisdom.
I own thousands of books. I am often asked if I have read them all and the answer is no. But I may. And in absolutely every case I have scoured the forward and the table of contents and felt a connection that beckoned me to take the book home. I never leave a bookstore empty handed.
I give books to people constantly. For me there is an intimacy in giving a book. It reflects an awareness about another on a very personal level.
On more than one occasion I have been questioned and even criticized for having such a large and ever growing book collection. While comment on any one of my many imperfections often cuts me to my core, this one breezes right past me. Books are where we find our common humanity. And for me books are where I have found my tribe. They are where I have found great comfort in knowing I am far from alone in the challenges I face or the places and spaces I want to explore. Bookstores and libraries are are my church.
When I step back I can see the stages and phases of my life in the titles – from books on raising children to designing presentations to living your best life to buddhism to magic to …you name it. At 52 I have quite the collection, it is a key part of my legacy and the many stages of my life.
As I lovingly and with great pleasure add my latest purchases to a newly created spot on my bookcase I am so excited. I feel like new immortalized spirits have joined me in my home and I welcome them with reckless abandon. As I look through them one by one I find little messages and I am in further delight and I make note to do this myself so that future generations can also delight in the magic of finding a note.
Books continue to mark the many chapters of my life and inspire me to continue to embrace the many chapters ahead…such wanderlust I see….