I have never been the “Let’s go to a bar to have drinks” person. For one, I don’t like the smell of white puffy smoke blowing in my face and I think it is ridiculous paying $10.00 for the same drink you can have at home for half of the cost. The bar thing doesn’t appeal for another important reason, I am not much of a drinker.
Instead my preferred choice of venue on a Friday night, Saturday night or Sunday night is the bookstore. I love the smell of new books and I like looking at all of the new hardcover books, flipping to the first page, reading the first couple of pages, and deeming if it is something that I want to read. I like to take my time perusing through all the shelves, peeking behind the corners, while holding my coffee cup. I retreat to a small corner, with a few books and alternatively take a sip and read through the goodies that I have picked up. It is not an everyone’s weekend night, but it is mine. I like entering into sections of the bookstore that I didn’t even consider, looking at worlds that I didn’t think existed.
I find refuge in a good book. I like first lines, like “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.“ I like the idea of living another character’s life, embracing their world, wondering where their story will take them. The single most important thing about reading is its power to convey ideas, thoughts, and worlds you may not have known about or even considered.
I am lucky that I have a spouse that shares the same passion for books. Over the years, when we have a chance to catch a date night, we have dinner, and head to our favorite bookstore. We walk in, separate, and say see you later. After about a hour, we come to look for one another, sharing what books we may have picked up. We have conversations about how a particular book is written, what moves us about certain passages and our anticipation of finding out how it will end.
I realize some of you may be rolling your eyes, probably saying, “How boring, they go to the bookstore on date night.” I respect that. I am saying the same thing, “How boring, they’re going to the same club, again?” Some of us get drunk on drinks, some of us get drunk on books.