Keeping Composure and Desire

"The truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or desire for more." - Gabriel Zaid

I've become somewhat of a book fanatic in the past year. Currently, I have borrowed about eight books from people (including Love and Longing in Bombay, which I just started) that I need to read before moving on to other literature, but despite that, I can't help myself from going into bookstores and drooling over the selection. This weekend I found two used bookstores that I can't wait to frequent.

Inside Grandview's Acorn Bookshop, Inc., readers can get lost in a sea of stacks. Every nook and cranny contains a good read, with the titles shelved vertically and horizontally and piled high on the floor. It has an amazing classics section that I can't wait to delve into - once my eight books are finished, of course. And they decorate by putting fun objects in random places. (Can you find the horse below?) Around every corner is a serendipitous find waiting to be discovered.

My second bookstore of the weekend, Village Bookshop, was housed in an old church. The bottom floor brimmed with new overstocks at highly discounted prices while the scent of old books wafted from upstairs. Dousing myself in one of my favorite scents, I spent some time browsing the upstairs.

On my stroll, I found a travel book written in the 1930s that talked about Cambodia. The writer writes, "...I would rather believe in drums as a cure for snakebite than to say that in seeing Angkor I saw only a stone building. It is the one last touch of superstition in this hard, unbelieving age, and I hug the memory of Angkor to me as a mother treasures a baby shoe. It is my faith in the immateriality of beauty, and by that faith I shall abide..." Apparently, Angkor Wat is still the sight it was 80 years ago.

I enjoyed my limited time in Columbus' bookshops this weekend. Only the fact that I'm still searching for that job is keeping me from becoming "truly cultured," as Zaid would say. I'm craving a new used book buy!

Do you love bookstores? Which one is your favorite and why?


Emily said...

Lately, my favorite bookstore has been Boarders. That's because Barnes & Noble is severely understaffed and understocked anymore. Plus, Boarders does a fabulous job of setting up recommendation tables near the entrance.

I would love to find a bookstore that isn't a chain. One with a little personality maybe? One in which the owner can give recommendations instead of some corporate bigwig who's only trying to make money. Alas, the WalMartization of the world has made this impossible in my area.

Emily said...

oh and by "Boarders" I mean, "Borders."

KBrock said...

Used bookstores are my favorite because I like looking for writing in them to see who had them before, but Borders is also easy to spend a few hours in. Or just going to a library, scanning through shelves and shelves of books.