Saturday, April 20, 2019

Changing Sentiment

When I was a kid a bookstore was a magical place. A holy place. Full of action and adventure, science, and imagination.
Every trip to one of my local bookstores was something I looked forward to like a vacation.

There was Waldenbooks, there was Borders, there was B. Dalton, Yes there was even Barnes & Noble. Countless independent stores as well. It didn't matter which store the result was the same; choices, opportunities, and adventures awaited!

What I feel when I go to a bookstore now is no longer the same. I still love the books, the smell, the feel of a quality book in my hand but that feeling doesn't last very long. As I meander through the isles filled with great books I will probably never read, see authors whose names I love and those I have never heard of, a melancholy begins to come over me. The longer I stay in the store the worse it gets.

I'm not sure why this is. Is it the futility of so many books and so few years remaining? Do I mourn the loss of the reading time that I have moved to other life interests? Maybe it's the fact that due to storage constraints I no longer purchase real (physical?) books? I am almost positive the last book I purchased that was made of actual paper was The Story of Kullervo which came out in 2015. The last before that? It was Beowulf in 2014.

After about a half-hour I want to leave the store more than just about anything else in the world. I have tried forcing myself to stay looking at my favorite shelves. Those with Tolkien, Asimov, Adams, and Sanderson. Those with the Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and Star Wars RPGs. I've tried moving to the music section to browse the newly old Vinyl albums, to look at the Blue-rays and DVDs. Nothing makes any difference. 

It isn't until I leave the store and go back into the world that the sensation begins to fade. Even so, it takes some time before I feel OK again. if OK is even a thing anymore. It's a strange experience having such a strong desire to go someplace every time you see it and then within minutes of being there wishing you were anywhere else but.

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