Every time we travel anywhere, we always make a point of checking out the local bookstores. Big chains, independent, used, textbook sales; you name it, we check it out. Even when we were overseas and the bookstores didn’t have a ton of English titles, we still went.
Why do we do this? Because there is something breathtaking about being in a space where you’re surrounded by knowledge. There is something life altering about immersing yourself in others’ imaginations; even if it’s just a glance inside from reading the covers; it’s absolutely gorgeous.
My partner is so patient with me in these locations. He loves the stores equally, immensely, but it’s my sheer, childlike joy and my demands to find books, sit on the floor with them (regardless of designated spaces), smell them and read the first ten pages of each potential buy that makes me a weirdo.
Because he knows me well, we started our date day yesterday (Sunday Funday!) with books. Big, beautiful books and deep, sweet, vibrant coffee; two of my most favorite of all things.
Ithaca, NY has a number of beautiful, small town local shops but also a number of chains and “big box” stores that provide a great variety to those of us who frequent the small city. What always fascinates me about Ithaca is even the big box stores are uniquely Ithacan; they are filled with diverse, interesting things and wonderfully odd people from all different backgrounds and incredible, joyful things happen surrounded by the individuality and absurdity we always seem to find there.
There are simply, not enough adjective and adverb pairings to describe every facet of Ithaca,NY. Go visit whenever you get a chance!
Anyhow, on our visit to Barnes and Nobles in Ithaca, I found not only the robust, Cinnamon Dolce flavored coffee that makes me want to pay that kind of money for Starbucks, but also the books. SO MANY BOOKS! So many amazing experiences with so much to offer.
Full disclosure; I really wreck stuff this time of year. I get bored, I get anxious, and I find myself seeking escape in vacations I can’t afford and crazy DIY projects that turn our usually beautiful apartment into a glittering, shag rug, macrame-made, terrible art gallery with supplies everywhere, kind of mess.
I also get crafty with food, which typically doesn’t end poorly for myself or anyone involved. In general, that makes much of this insanity okay.
As I strolled through Barnes & Nobles though, I found myself entranced and genuinely excited about all of the things I could learn and fall into. Books I could fall in love with; books that would feel like a vacation and a Martha Stewart style living space. Books that would take the edge off the weather (which has promptly returned to February up North versus the 48 hours of February down South), and remind me that this seasonal slump will pass.
I picked up five paperbacks that spoke to me (in cover and descriptions and reviews only) and then found Nick in the graphic novels to tell him that I would be starting my floor-sitting, coffee sipping, 10 pages at a time process. He nodded and asked me to keep my phone on; I obliged.
I found my corner, participated in my process, and fell madly in love with all five. I then had to narrow down to three, or forgo all lunch money for the week ahead (and some of my gas money too!).
In the end, I was thrilled. It was worth the $47 I hadn’t planned to spend on books. The rest of the trip was wonderful as well, but it was the time in Barnes & Nobles Sunday in Ithaca that really made my weekend.
And so, as much of the weeks ahead pass, you’ll probably see some prompts, ideas, and book reviews on here as I use that inspiration and motivation that only reading and being in that sort of space can provide. I can’t wait to share the joy!