On Saturday I spent the day in Kingsbridge. Mark's show was finishing so I went in to steward with him. As I write this I realized what a crap steward-backup I was. I was there for about five minutes and then I left him to it. I think I owe him an apology!
As I set off into town I asked my angel-book-therapist to lead me to something inspiring. I've been kind-of in a hibernatingy-homeiscky-odd mental space and I wanted some clarity. As I rarely get into town alone, I was determined to make my way up one side of the road and down the other. (Not all of these shops sell books, but I managed to bring back an absurd amount of printed material with me. I think I have a real problem.)
I started my book-browsing in the Oxfam shop. I sincerely hoped for a second-hand book of Mary Oliver's poetry (ha! no such luck) but ended up leaving with a 99p copy of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and two other enticing paperbacks. Inside one of the books I bought was a receipt that someone had used as a bookmark. I was deeply interested in this seemingly ordinary item. I think I will use its contents as a writing prompt. Other people's grocery bills say a lot about them.
From there I kept browsing. I went into every shop hoping for inspiration. I bought another book that I think will be a Christmas present, a newspaper, and a women's magazine. Despite now owning millions of words to read I was feeling despondent over my lack of an enlightening moment. Then I went into the only actual Bookstore in Kingsbridge. Silently I passed the shelves, picking up a book here and there, searching for the Oliver book, and hoping for something wonderful. I was drawn to a shelf far in the back. Sitting on the top was a small white book called, "Everything I've Ever Done that Worked" by Lesley Garner. I have only climbed three short essays into it, but I think I found the inspiration I was looking for - it's fabulous!
But I don't know how many people go to town and only come back with 5 books, one newspaper and a magazine. I have serious problems. When Mark laughed at me I said to him, "but they are like my security blanket. I don't feel right unless I have books around me." I hadn't thought about it like that before. I love the smell, the feel, the taste of books. I love the possibility, the potential, the wisdom, the worlds, the friends, the tenseness and the drama. I don't just love books, I NEED them. It's past addiction. Books as an entity in my life are as natural and necessary to me as breathing.
What would I spend my last $5.00 on? Food? No. Shelter? No. It's gotta be something to read. Is that wrong?