On the topic of books.... I love them. Since I was a kid, my parents have teased me for always having my nose buried in a new book. We would road trip for hours and I would have no concept of where we were or where we had been.
I still read a lot now (although not while driving of course). In fact, it is not only the act of reading that I enjoy, but the hunt for the books themselves.
I find that buying books is just another excuse to get out and hunt for inspiration & life in the world around me.
There is a certain smell to a used bookstore that doesn't quite compare to Barnes & Noble or Borders. A smell that is inviting, nostalgic & timeless. Have you ever closely smelled the pages of a used book? It carries with it the memories and reactions of its past life. To think that the book you buy from a second hand shop could have changed its last owner's outlook; there could be tears staining its pages, laughter soaked in its binding.
I came across the (in)famous bookstore,
Shakespeare & Co.
when I was in Paris. The bookstore pictured below is not at its original location because it was closed during World War II, but both locations have a reputation for housing young ambitious authors in exchange for a few hours work each day. It was visited by many greats over the years such as Hemingway & Gertrude Stein & F. Scott Fitzgerald. They have a carefully selected collection of new books inside and a smattering of used books in crates outside the shop. I took to the used books outside and by the end of my trip I had bought so many books that I had to ship them home on their own.
There is a bookstore in Studio City called
Portrait of a Bookstore
which is similar in its handpicked selection of titles and authors, but the history just isn't there, the struggles and adversity that makes the Paris bookshop such an impressive enterprise don't exist.
....Still the place in Studio City is always busy with intellectuals and artists which I find satisfies a certain yearning in me while I am in the here and now.