A Visit to the Bookstore: The unnecessary sequel

Out browsing books yesterday at a big box retailer, I was feeling giddy. The store was going out of business. The inventory was decimated. Regardless, I hoped to find a few gems left in the wash.

Several sections still had books—philosophy, religion, literature. Looking to fill my own bookshelves with philosophy, literature, religion, fiction, translated classics, even anthologies with featured editors, my mind ticked with the possible and the probable.

This was going to take a while.

Starting with philosophy, I browsed for Plato or Socrates.  They had left the building. What remained was an odd lot. Some masters and some 19th century know-it-alls. Either way, most of the remaining books were focused on a modern, ethical analysis of each.

I sought religion. Finding it, the books looked sifted-through and passed over. So, I’m late to the party? Perhaps I still find a nice version of the Torah or the Bible—something with footnotes, filigree, even pop-ups—for the uninitiated and dubious?  Instead there was a shelf filled with Christian faith perspectives. I shuffled through a few titles but nothing called out to me. Figures.

Turning East, I spotted a copy of the Mahabharata. It was a tired, pulpy paperback. Searching for some redeeming quality, I flipped through its pages for translation notes and illustrations. Nada and forget it. (I’d rather watch the eight-hour movie with subtitles.)

Breathing deeply, closing my eyes, I realized that I may not find religion. I exhaled. Opening my eyes, I met Buddha. Realizing there was plenty more to consider, I chose to walk away with the Dalai Lama.

Hearing bells, I thought I found enlightenment. But it was only my husband calling. He was waiting on me to go golfing. My inner peace dissolved. Darn.

Glancing at my watch, I figured I could take a few more minutes for myself before rushing home. I passed the remaining sections of classical literature and headed straight for the section that feeds my more base pleasures—horror.

As it turns out, this section truly was a horror. Authors were out of alphabetical order. Genres co-mingled with mysteries and romance.  Seeking favorite authors and storylines, I searched high and low.  Looking for ghastly covers over southern belles was driving me crazy. Who should I look for first? A favorite author or character? A tawdry thriller I would never pay for at full price? I couldn’t focus. On top of it all, I was now in a rush to get home.

Spinning from shelf to shelf, my eyes twitched, and my vision clouded. Breathing faster and feeling desperate, I stopped.  I realized that I was going to get myself in trouble and buy the wrong book, meet the wrong character, even make a bad decision. I decided to leave before getting into trouble.

Perhaps I will finish my search from my e-reader?

Monday, August 22, 2011. Today’s post was inspired by a visit to my local Borders bookstore. I doodled the image on my iPad using Artrage. ©2011 Steph Abbott All rights reserved.

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