Finding l.u.x.u.r.y in the little things (and smirking at all the r.e.s.t)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Love of beauty is taste. Creation of beauty is art."

Bookstores are a frighteningly beautiful thing. You have this abnormally large room, typically with some variation of a vaulted ceiling, and those burgundy-colored oversized stuffed chairs organized somewhat haphazardly thoughout the room in an attempt to facilitate a cozy, welcoming ambiance. Many people come with the intent of snatching up the latest sizzling romance novel to hit the shelves, and it's likely that even more people are there lurking in the aisles only in search of a certain self-help book. Although most, I wouldn't hesitate to say, are simply there for a warm cup of Starbucks along side of their laptop. Yet, I'd venture to say that no one truly appreciates a bookstore for the sheer splendid nature of it.

Tonight, I attended a book signing of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love--I absolutely adore this blonde-haired, free-spirited woman. As I stood in the audience and listened to her read one of her very own passages, I couldn't help but become mesmerized; here was this person who I had idolized and stood next to every step of the journey, page by page, and now she was here. Infront of my very own eyes. Speaking outloud the same words I had once read. And doing it so much better than I had even imagined.

And so it got me thinking. What is a book? Unlike any other marketable product, a book is a persons very own creation. A complication of your very own words, arranged together to form your very own sentences which, in turn, form your very own ideas. Which, ultimately, ends up being a book. Your very own book. That other people buy. They buy your ideas. Your sentences. Your words. They buy YOU.

So a bookstore, then, is really a vendor of ideas. Think of the power that holds. An abnormally large room with some variation of a vaulted ceiling and burgundy-colored overstuffed chairs just full of thousands of different people's ideas and thoughts; full of little parts of each author themselves. If one were to take advantage of a bookstore, he/she could technically become incredibly intellectually wealthy. And if not a little wiser, at least a little more open to others' viewpoints and individual perspectives regarding a vast amount of topics. And from my own perspective, this seems like it would be a very positive thing. Bookstores hold the answer to all of our differences--knowledge that could eliminate pure ignorance and, in turn, allow for a more prosperous, harmonious society. Go to the bookstore, people! Sure--have your cup of Starbucks. Flip open your laptop. Flip through a self help book (or eight for that matter). Do whatever it is you do. But take advantage of the wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. Go browse a section you've previously left unexplored. Be enlightened. Be inspired. Be intelligent. Be resourceful.

Be a reader.

First recommended stop: Eat Pray Love


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