Once upon a time (isn't that how all the best stories start?) ... there was a single girl who loved to visit bookshops. She could spend hours and hours, visiting different sections, dipping in and out of books in all different categories, browsing subjects she was familiar with and those she wanted to learn more about. The bestseller fiction section was always part of the experience, checking to see how many books she had read, owned (ready to read) or would contemplate purchasing before leaving the store.
Fast forward 8 years ... and it is all a distant dream.
Initially, adding just the husband, who also loves books, meant that the visits to the bookshops became a joint experience ... occasionally passing each other in one section or spotting each other over piles of neatly stacked books ... or if the shop was on many levels, sometimes even loosing each other for large chunks of time! Thank goodness for mobile phones or we may never have found each other again!
Adding one, then two munchkins definitely changed the stakes! The time was much reduced (surprisingly babies aren't as interested to dip in and out of books for hours!) and then the effort required just wasn't worth it. Add the missionary budget and then moving somewhere where there are no bookshops ... you can see how things have changed!
Last week while we were away, I had withdrawn a fiction book from the library for holiday reading. Recently, there have been far too many other types of books on my agenda to read, so this was a real treat. While the ability for my eyes to stay open long enough to get any decent chunks in (surely I'm not the only mum with little ones, who if they aren't on the go and stop to do something, their whole body shuts down!!), I did enjoy getting lost in a book again.
I was reading Audrey Niffenegger's, 'Her Fearful Symmetry', which I'm still only halfway through and is incredibly intriguing ... but to be honest, I'm not too sure what I think about it! Back in my 'Bookstore Bestseller days', I had read her first novel 'The Time Travellers Wife' and got totally lost in it, so wanted to try her number two. If you haven't read it, 'The Time Travellers Wife' is an incredible love story written 'out of time' almost (not slushy!). I even got my husband to read it because it is SO clever and although reluctant at first he thoroughly enjoyed it too! It it one of my favourite books which I would consider reading again (that rarely happens as there are far too many others on my to-read list) ... and the movie wasn't too atrocious an adaptation either believe it or not. I'm usually quite cynical about them!
One morning on holiday, I was in the shower, contemplating life and day-dreaming about being in a book shop, surrounded by opportunities to read.
The next day we visited Sandusky to pick up a few things at the shops and just after lunch as we left, spotted a huge book store across one of the vast and relatively empty, parking lots. Even though the girls were with us, we did a U-turn and thought we'd have a 'quick look'. An hour or so later, after tag teaming with the girls, who are now of the age where they were happy to get lost in books in the kiddies section (just needing one of us to keep an eye on them!) ... we came out again, one very happy pair of parents!
We didn't actually buy anything for ourselves, but having that time to browse rows and rows of books was a little slice of heaven to both of us! Sometimes it's just the simple things in life that make us smile!