Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, April 14, 2008

Book Corner

"It is always the simple that produces the marvelous."
-Amelia E. Barr

I spent four hours in Barnes and Noble the other afternoon. I purchased nothing, and enjoyed the occasion particularly for the fact that I sat quietly and wrote my thoughts ensconced in a fresh environment. I do not at all like the taste of coffee but the pervading scent pleases me and I passed the time in the cafeteria watching other customers and garnering fresh ideas.
We spent ten minutes in our local library on Saturday afternoon. Half of that was spent rooting through the shelf of books designated for sale.
I unearthed 'What Have You Lost?' an anthology of poetry edited by Naomi Shihab Nye, whose words I greatly admire and whose books are precious in both the hard-to-find sense as well as in their content.
Shortly after that discovery, 'Under the Greenwood Tree,' one of the few Thomas Hardy books I do not have, came tumbling out into my hands.
They each cost fifty cents.

From 'Autumn Quince' by Jane Hirshfield; found in 'What Have You Lost?'
How sad they are,
they promises we never return to.

Here, the opening line of 'Under the Greenwood Tree' by Thomas Hardy:
To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.

Ten minutes, one dollar, two volumes to gladden my heart and lighten my step as Spouse and I later walked to the nearby park for the first time in four months. The delightful pleasure extended its arms far beyond the brief moments of seeking and finding and buying, which is, for me, what book hunting, or any sort of shopping, should be all about.
I could never, never have had that same sort of joy in a new bookstore no matter how much money jingled in my pockets or how fat my wallet was.


Pappy said...

So true. Not only that, but had you a taste for coffee, you would have spent $3.50 and still had no books. Your plan was much more frugal and included an exercise in patience, and physical fitness. You also got to spend a little quality time with Spouse and see the park. Truly amazing when you consider the cost.

Relyn Lawson said...

After your kind comment, I had to stop by and visit you in return. I am so glad that I did. Tonight I have read many of your stories, but I decided to leave my comment on this one because it is also very "me."

I often go to Barnes and Noble or Borders when I have the chance of some time to myself. I don't buy books unless I have a gift card. But, our Barnes carries Cheesecake Factory's Godiva cheesecake. Let me tell you, that is perfection on a fork. I pile up tons of foreign magazines I can't afford and a book or two and get cozy with my cheesecake.

When I have book money to spend, I hit the used book stores and our library store. I recently got a hardback of "The Secret Life of Bees" from the library. I have been looking for a perfect copy of that one for a while. It cost $2.00. Isn't life good?

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Texican, I couldn't do without my books! I'd go hungry and thirsty for the right ones. I've previously spent my bus money and walked home happy. I didn't really think about it from the patience aspect, so I feel even better now. Thank you!
Relyn, I'm pleased you stopped by here. I find that even when I have a gift card, I can't bring myself to spend it because I know how many thrift store books that same card would buy me if it were transferable! I suppose, in hindsight, I might manage a piece of cheesecake, just to support the business, not for me or anything ;)
You were very lucky to find a book you wanted for so little money. Those are the days worth remembering! I appreciate your dropping in.

paulmerrill said...

Glad you found my blog! And it was good to find yours too.

I totally agree about trying to keep life simple.

And if I had time to linger at Barnes & Noble, I'd also enjoy that cheesecake. Sigh.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Paul, thanks much for looking in here. We'll all have to make do with virtual cheesecake, and pretend.

Please look around, explore my writing, leave a crumb:
I welcome comments and thoughts.