I love books. I'm addicted to them like a drug addict. Used bookstores make me happier than anything. The smell, the age, the ambience of the places. It's like oxygen to me to be in old bookstores. New bookstores are just as grand. The glossy books, the hard backs, the smell of fresh ink on brand new paper. The dangle of new bookmarks eager to jump into a page and hold your place.
I love people at bookstores too. Wandering around the Science Fiction/Fantasy section and seeing my fellow nerdians peruse and pick up favorite old series books, inspect new works, or reading covers of other more skeptical kinds. The children squatting beside the short stacks of books, or playing with car-books or animal books or pop up books, so enthralled with the pre-written words of their magical worlds. The super smarty pants who are reading science books, religion books or history books. It's the guys who look like they are looking for the next great discussion grabber.
Books bring me joy. Even my annoying graduate course books. They are a pain in the neck, let me tell you. Some times, I'm reading and I can't make heads or tails of what I'm reading and I truck along, praying that it'll all make sense before I'm supposed to ask a question in class. Then there are the random books my professors pick that are truly a hidden treasure of fun to read. The book about the history of sugar a few weeks ago, or the development and incredibly fascinating study on Gay men & culture in the late 1800's through 1940 - those made me want to stop all I was doing to read them.
Yet, books are also, for me, a coping skill. I read when I'm sad to leave the sadness behind for a little while. I read when I am happy so I can revel in something new and fun. Sometimes I read out of boredom, but mostly it's a catharsis for me. In my emotion - just like with my need to have music - I read books that comfort me. Right now, I want to read. I want to pick up my favorite novels and escape for a little while. To reunite with my beloved characters and dream of a place where happy endings exist and things work out right.
Right now, I'm longing desperately for Hogwarts, Harry, Ron & Hermoine. I'm desperate for good to overcome in epic battles of good vs. evil. It's that time of year. I feel the stir for something grand to happen. My heart longs for books.