While sitting at a table in Barnes & Noble reading “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo, I hear my phone buzz and get the text that the book I just ordered online for pickup in order to save $3.00 is now ready. I pick up my new book and start heading towards the door. I can’t help but remember the one time I was practically running out of this exact same store to make sure no one saw me crying.
I was fresh out off a breakup and needed to get out of the house and decided that re-igniting my passion for reading would help me through the process. It sounded like a brilliant idea at the time. So, there I was searching for a literary getaway on the brink of tears. I searched for 30 minutes before the tears in my eyes got too heavy to soak back up. So, deciding I wouldn’t go home empty-handed, I picked a book that slightly looked entertaining and was also on Oprah’s booklist. I just knew I couldn’t go wrong with something OPRAH suggested. I purchased the book in a hurry and practically ran to my car to listen to Cranes in the Sky and cry my way home.
This story isn’t about the breakup. It’s more so about the fact that I picked a completely crappy book that I could never finish and to this day I’ll never understand how, even in my state of bewilderment, picked such an un-inspiring, boring book. Listen, I tried. I really did. But, I’m just going to say just like my judgment was off with selecting that book, Oprah’s was too when she put it on her list. Sorry Oprah, still love you girl.
The reason this story came up today was that as I was leaving Barnes & Noble tonight I was filled with nothing but joy. I even stopped by the cookie store in celebration for the new book I was about to crack open. Yes, I told myself I deserved a cookie for buying a new book. Don’t judge me.
The thing is that I’m un-ashamed/ashamed to admit is that prior to my near B&N breakdown, I hadn’t bought a book to read for leisure in years. I listened to some Audible books, but I never took the opportunity to dive into a traditional, good ole’ paperback book. Up until college, I was a reading machine. I wouldn’t sleep to read. I would lose myself in stories for hours. My fingers would go numb and I would just shake it off and keep on going. It was wonderful. But, unfortunately, I had lost that.
So, when everything seemed to go haywire, I tried to go back to the books and find a getaway. I wanted to be anywhere except where I was. It was running away from something to get to books instead of running to books for the pure joy of reading. Lucky me, I picked one of the worst books in the bunch and my little book vacation would be cut very short. I wouldn’t get the getaway I wanted. Instead, I had to face reality and figure some things out. I was always meant to come back to books, but not like that. It wasn’t fair to me or the books I would be consuming.
Here I am now… Ready to wrap this up to run to my new book, a book I spent about an hour finding in Barnes & Noble where the only place I was running to was a table to get started. My re-ignited love for books feels pure and organic. Being able to consume the pages with a clear palette and conscious knowing that these books were picked out of peak interest, not desperation.
So, you could say that what I’m getting at is that life has a way of coming full-circle. No, I’ll never pick up that god-awful book again, but I’ll always go into that Barnes & Noble and see it as a symbolic place of growth. I’ll also walk in there and thank it for being a place where I regained my love for books again. I might need to thank the library too because my budget says I’ll need to be there soon too. Yikes.