There’s something incredibly romantic about books. Don’t ask me why, but ever since I was little, my biological programming has geared me to look for romance within the pages of a book. You’d find this said book at a vintage neighborhood bookstore, which because if its vast collection of novels, may be one of the most romantic places on Earth. I don’t mean romantic as “sensual” or “lovey-dovey”, but the You’ve Got Mail romantic. The sweater-wrapped-around-you-and-your-favorite-book romantic. The Harry Nilsson- Remember Christmas romantic. The NYC-mid-December romantic. The kind of romance that warms not only the heart, but the soul as well.
A bookstore, in my eyes, is the Garden of Eden of creativity, imagination, and magic. It plants seeds of thought and imagination in a person’s mind, whether young or old, and creates a place that generation after generation can come back to and reap its fruit. The peacefulness resides in the people that come, not to watch TV or talk on the phone, but to read. As a plus, there always seems to be a coffee shop conveniently located nearby, which can easily turn a quick trip to the bookstore into a half-day retreat from reality. So my challenge for you today is 2. Venture to your nearest bookstore and lose yourself. Lose yourself in the surreality that every one of the books in that place tells a unique story, and takes you on a different adventure. The Guide to Italy in the Culture section will persuade you to buy a round trip ticket to Roma solely for an authentic margarita pizza and true Italian wine. After reading a few surahs from the Qur’an, you’ll come to realize that you actually knew very little about Islam, and become intrigued as to how many aspects of the religion are similar to Christianity. A mere chapter from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone brings the teenybopper out of you as you’re instantly reminded of braces, school buses, and the time when all you had to worry about was whether or not Harry was ever going to defeat Voldemort. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch will take you back even farther than that, when you couldn’t fall asleep without hearing your mother read to you. There’s comfort in that books are one of the few things that truly stay consistent in our lives. Whether it’s Everybody Poops or Comparative Anatomy & Physiology, the underlying motive is always the same: Take home the take home message. Form an opinion. Learn something new. Once you finish a book, you’re always a different person from when you first started it. So trudge on over to that hole-in-the-wall bookstore across the street, spark your imagination, meet someone new, pick up a book, finish it, and don’t forget to grab a cup o’ joe along the way.