Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A History of Reading

This doesn't happen often (not often enough, at least), but here I am at Barnes & Noble.... alone.

I am here often enough with the girls for Storytime. We arrive early to make time for potty breaks and play in the toy section. Then we head to the children's book area and listen to the story, sing songs, and color. After that, if both girls are in good spirits and behaving, we go back to play with the trains and blocks again before we drive home for lunch. Not once do I browse at books. My eyes are glued to the girls while we're here. I talk and am social with the other mothers. I am in a bookstore, and I don't look at a single book.

I have had a lifelong affair with books. My parents read to my brother and I when we were young. There was a shelf of books in my room from as early as I can remember. I spent summer vacations with my nose in books, even going so far as to finish the pages in the vocabulary workbooks that my class didn't get to complete during the school year. I loved reading. My Mom always had to tell me to close my book when we were eating dinner together as a family. I didn't understand why I couldn't keep reading when we weren't much of a conversational family in the first place.

While sitting around the stage for Storytime, I do peek at the titles of the books lined up on the shelves surrounding us. Youth Fiction. My favorite store to visit whenever we went to the mall when I was a kid was called "Young Editions." It was a store filled to the brim with youth fiction. My favorite book series still to this day is the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander that I picked up at Young Editions. It was a sad day when the store closed.

I spent most of my high school career in a library. Two different high schools, three different libraries (you have to include the county library, of course). College wasn't too terribly different, come to think of it now: add two more schools and three more libraries to the list. It's no wonder that my first job post college was as a file clerk, never minding the fact that my degree was in graphic design.

Here, in this town, I haven't found a library that I like yet. The one closest to us is small and old, and I haven't spent the time to explore others. It's no wonder that Barnes & Noble is my current refuge for books. Before we had kids, Senpai and I would come here to grab a coffee drink and sit together on a bench by the window to browse through the magazines. I would inevitably leave Senpai on the bench while I explored the stacks, looking for a new Haruki Murakami masterpiece or something similar. Later, when Rosemary was growing in my belly, I would pick up parenting books.

It's a shame now that I don't even look at the books most times I'm here. Sometimes Senpai joins us, and he and I will trade off watching the girls while the other finds reading material. He'll go off to the magazine racks, and when he comes back, I make a quick trip to the parenting books. I can peek through those quick enough to see if there's anything that calls to me. But here I am tonight, alone with my thoughts and all of the time in the world to explore. So if you'll excuse me... I've got some new fiction to discover.



vindiebaby said...

Interesting post I actually gotta take my little girl soon to the library, by the way you have such a lovely family, congrats :)

Vintage Inspired Girls

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