Like an outstretched hand holding a lollipop to a toddler, a copy of Playboy to a pubescent boy, or a syringe of heroin to a junkie, a bookstore (or library or any other building full of books) is what dilates my pupils. Shit. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still a bit jittery from my most recent trip to Barnes & Noble. Entering any such shop without a game plan in tact is like giving a girly girl a blank check and letting her run loose in Saks: if told she had no restrictions she’d never stop.
Like the younger, more self-conscious version of myself, I avoided an upward gaze of the shelves, just as I would have avoided eye contact with any being of the opposite sex. But like any deep desire, it can’t be completely contained. I snuck a peak at a few of the new non-fiction books, scanned the "Staff Picks" of the new fiction and then made a B line to the computer to find what I had come to purchase, well, one of the things. There’s really a book of, until now, unpublished works of Mark Twain including a new short story and…? Focus.
I’m still alive. I was able, barely, to go in, hunt down my chosen prey, along with some extra goodies that will hold me over for a few, and leave. If it hadn’t been in the middle of the workday, I don’t think the same outcome would have been achieved. I don’t doubt that I have it in me to spend an entire day--scratch that--an entire week in a bookstore, library or again, any wide-open space consumed with soft covers, hard covers, ample lighting, a water fountain, vending machine and bathroom. (There’s really no way that even a week would be enough time…but I’d take it.) Would food even be necessary?
I wish I had an endless supply of two things 1.) Time and 2.) Books. Here come the shakes...