Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Bookstore Day (copy)

Time for celebration! That’s right! November seventh is National Bookstore Day! Yippee!

I will be celebrating in my usual fashion. I’ll be chasing down the staff and asking for the latest spectacular reads. I’ll be skipping through the sports section, pouting past the self-help, mulling in the literature, and flipping through the pages of various magazines. Best of all, I will leave the store with five new books to read. Hubby limits me to five.

It took a bookstore not a library to foster my love of reading. Do not get me wrong. I love my childhood experiences in the public library. I even had favorite librarians, but when I reached a certain age – let’s say the age of annoyance – I was kicked-out by those same librarians on a regular basis. I promise you; sometimes, they just stopped me at the door!

There was a time I was to cool to be seen with a book, too. This would be my high school and college years. Textbooks were cool. They represented studying and school “research” but a novel smacked of nerdism. Anyone who reads these book talks and corrects my many English mistakes now knows why.

It was a messy bookstore in downtown Nashville that created the monster you now read. In an old wooden five-n-dime converted into floor to ceiling books, I dove into the Tennessee history section. My new passion became reading and retelling ghost stories at the many camps I attended. This decrepit store added to my imagination as images of ghosts haunted the very aisles I perused.

After moving to Memphis, I combined my frugal and annoying nature by reading the local history at Bookstar on the floor. It wasn’t long before I noticed others doing the same thing and I made friends. One of those friends turned me on to mysteries for which I am ever grateful.

I continue my love of bookstores by visiting and buying local history books when I travel. I have ghost stories from Maine, Oregon, Alaska, Ireland, Venice, etc. In Natchez, I met a nice store owner who placed One for the Money in my hands because I was in dire need of a mystery. This is how Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series came to north Mississippi libraries!

I will be forever indebted to an enthusiastic bookseller on Prince Edward Island. It was his high praise of South American literature that turned me on to Gabriel García Márquez. Love in the Time of Cholera is one of my all-time favorite books.

Be sure to celebrate and annoy your closest bookstore employee this coming week!

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