I've always been a bookworm - some of my favorite memories growing up are of going to The Red Balloon and Wild Rumpus with my parents or my friend Ellen, usually walking out clutching one or two new paperbacks. When I got a new book, I would never dive into it right away - I always took the time to look at it, hold it, feel the weight of the never-turned pages. I would study the cover, run my hands over the spine, read the summary and reviews on the back of the book in intimate detail, wondering what the story would be like, if I would like the characters, if this would be my new favorite book.
I hadn't planned on buying anything this afternoon, but nevertheless ended up with a collection of Virginia Woolf short stories and a book of poems by Rumi (both used). With school starting, I've really enjoyed having books that I can read in short - yet complete - sections. Walking home, I felt the same rush of excitement I used to feel as a nine-year-old. I turned the volumes over, felt their covers, ruffled the pages with my thumb and inhaled the scent of ink and musty paper.
A new book is pure possibility. It could be anything, or it could be nothing of consequence - but I prefer to think that it will be everything. As I leaf through the worn pages, I wonder which passages I will underline, which quotes I will write down in my journal, which stories will leave me moved and inspired. I love the weight of books - I love the decorations on the spine, the yellow tinge that creeps onto the edges of the paper, I love being able to write notes in my own handwriting. Each book has its own soul - it feels different, it has a new and different story to tell.
Some days, I'm pretty sure I am still nine years old.