Today I bought 6 books.
This is a common occurrence for me. I love going and looking through second hand shops, especially the second hand book store we have in town. I love finding books I read when I was young, sequels to books I have or books that I think I might love for only a dollar or two. I love finding books with beautiful covers that, honestly, I might never read, but make me happy just looking at them. The place I’m happiest is surrounded by books. If you want to see me at my most relaxed and most open, take me somewhere with lots of books.
Which is why I wonder why dates to book shops aren’t a common thing.
I’ve always been an avid reader, for as long as I can remember it’s been a favourite hobby of mine. At the start of every school holiday my mother would take us to the town library. I’d pick a stack of books, usually five or six chapter books, and take them to the counter. The first few times the librarian would say “Wow, I bet those will keep you busy for the next two week!” but then a few days later I’d be back for more.
I loved, still love, being able to absorb myself in different worlds, to discover characters and places and lives, to be so deep into a book that you forget there’s anything outside of it. Reading is an escape. I have so many favourite books and authors that I almost dread being asked what they are. Whenever I tell someone I love to read they ask. “Oh, really? What’s your favourite book?” “How long do you have?” I have one bookshelf in my room. It doesn’t even hold half of the books I own, so I only put my favourites on there. The book has to be pretty special to earn a place on The Shelf. Once a book is on there, though, it’s usually there to stay. When I fall in love with a book, I fall hard. The Harry Potter series, for example, will always have a place on The Shelf, as will The Iron Fey, The Demonata and Anne of Green Gables. These are some of the books I’ll never grow out of.
I wish everyone loved books as much as I do, although then there would be even more competition for second hand books. Our town library throws books in the bin if they’ve been damaged or if they’ve been in the library for a few years. I personally think that is a crime akin to murder. I find it heartbreaking that they throw away perfectly good books to make room for newer books. I mean, look at the classics, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Anne Rice. Those books are old, but still amazing. I think they need to build more shelves. One of my dreams is to have enough bookshelves to hold all my books. And then more books.
I’ve always had a reputation of being an avid reader. Even in kindergarten, while the other kids had their reading groups I was in the “independent” reading group, which meant I could sit and read whatever and didn’t need to prove I could. When I got to high school the librarians knew me by name before most of my teachers because I was in there getting books every other day. I actually still have a school library book that I accidentally stole, but that’s another story…
The only thing I don’t like about books is the endings. When I finish a series for the first time I always feel a little sense of lost. I’ll never get to discover the story for the first time again. It’s always a little bittersweet. But knowing that I can go back and relive the story over and over again brings me comfort. Despite there being SO many books out there, every year I like to take the time out to revisit my favourites. And now, I’m going to go and dive into a new book, I hope it has a happy ending.
Image credit: Kameron Hurley