New to Book Buying

— a cure for internet malaise

There’s an era of media consumption culture that I hope doesn’t go undocumented.

Back when Borders and Barnes and Noble were as abundant as Starbucks, there were throngs of people who would visit, park themselves and devour books for hours. My favorite activity was to go to Borders on a Saturday afternoon, grab a stack of books and magazines and read at a table in the cafe. Sometimes I’d go with friends and we’d share and discuss things we’d find. Despite being in the suburbs, we had access to premier culture and art. The latest Art Forum, V Magazine, Vogue Italia, AdBusters, Martha Stewart were all there.

It might seem strange, but if it were possible to time travel, you’d see twenty other people around me doing the same thing. None of us would have ordered coffee from the cafe. The decency to order coffee or food developed later. (Or maybe I was too young to care or understand?)

Although magazines were my favorite, there were times when I immersed myself amongst the book section. Especially, when I needed to research a topic. I recall an afternoon in the metaphysics section. Five different dream interpretation dictionaries provided guidance on what my subconscious was telling me.

In school, books were these things you had to buy. You’d only pay for them because you were obligated to, like paying tuition. But books were extremely expensive–so much I could never imagine buying a book I wanted to read. That was something millionaires did.

So I’d never gotten into buying books that I like. Until now.

There are libraries that offer all the books in the world but the good books are always checked out.

On top of that, I’ve suffered from internet ennui. Like flipping through channels, I check the same pages, hoping there’s more, something interesting, never to find anything, then checking the same pages over again and again until I’m tired and I settle on the least irritating page/video out there.

Why should my life be about selecting the least irritating? I should be choosing things I want to see, hear, read.

I’ve been forced to turn to books. There are tons of reviews, tons of recommendations. I can download samples to my kindle and figure out which stories are worth immersing into. I’ve been buying books I want to read.

So far, it’s a major improvement.

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