I like bookstores. The inspiration for my visits is only marginally related to my actual interest in buying books. I like the aesthetic qualities of a bookstore. Whether it be the sterile calm of a chain bookstore or the many grades of disorderliness that make independent bookstores more like a cluttered library then a place of commerce. I like the smell of the paper. I like to wander the aisles pretending as if I am a general, readying the books – lined in regimental order upon the shelves – for a battle against the world’s absurdity – contained in their underbellies an articulate measure of sanity.
I am addicted to books.
In fact, to be quite honest, it doesn’t matter where the books are located. I love to browse books. I like the unexpected feeling of finding a new author or subject to immerse myself in. I like the feeling that comes with the expectation of coming upon something unexpected. I browse the shelves at Target, in airport newsstands, at friend’s houses, at houses of people I don’t know, at Diwan when they sell books and I am actually buying my coffee .. I’ll even go up to the bookshelf in my room at home and pace back and forth simulating the act of browsing.