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Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Security Of The Bookstore
I recently spoke at the Cape Cod Writers Conference (I recommend you attend their annual gathering) and found myself spending a few nights on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts.
What was I to do?
The younger me would’ve gone out to a club. But I’m not the 20-something, stay-up-all-night guy.
The single me would’ve looked to befriend a conference attendee, but I’m married.
But I didn’t want to just stay in my hotel room. I ate at the hotel and didn’t have a need to dine elsewhere.
It’s a sleepy town, best known for its beaches, humble streets, and daytime activities.
I could’ve gone to the movies but none of the offerings of the nearby Cape Cod Mall spoke to me. I wanted to catch the Linda Lovelace movie, as well as Woody Allen’s new one. Neither one was playing there.
I resorted to my fail-save, my security blanket, my sanctuary. I went to Barnes & Noble, ordered a cup of Starbucks java, and grabbed a copy of Time magazine to skim through. The cover story was about the appeal of living without kids, of never having them. Apparently the nation’s birthrate, down 9% from 2006, is at an all-time low.
The bookstore is like a church or temple. No matter which town or even country that you visit, a stop at the bookstore is always comforting, familiar, and reassuring. It’s an oasis from the world, a place where you feel welcome.
It’s a site where ideas scream at you and the covers of books and magazines lobby for your attention. They await adoption and fostering. I’m more than happy to rescue a few publications on a visit.
Am I a loser for not exploring Cape Cod at night or for not using this opportunity to socialize and network with others?
Nighttime was my moment to rest and relax. I networked by day at the conference. I also took a long walk in the daylight and got to see some of the town’s charm and appeal.
I ended up contributing to the book market by purchasing a book, 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know by Ben Dupre. It’s an easy book to read and then put down and then pick up again. Each chapter is just a few pages long, and each is an independent unit that can be read without having read anything else.
You’d think being at a writer’s conference surrounded by authors and books, the last place I’d want to be was a bookstore, and yet I found it really warming and nourishing to be inside the building that houses knowledge and fantasy, history and current events, theory and reality.
I asked for a copy of The Boston Globe. They said they didn’t sell it. This seemed strange. The hotel I stayed at also didn’t sell it. Maybe that’s why they got sold from the New York Times, to the owners of the Boston Red Sox, for peanuts.
The bookstore, for as long as it will exist, is a holy place. It’s an arena for the imagination and the informed. I couldn’t see being anywhere else.
Book Excerpts from: Choose What Works by Howard Goldman
“Problems exist in relation to your wants, desires, and intents. They occur when something or someone thwarts your desires or aims that reside in the background of your thoughts. Our problems happen to us in ways in which we perceive ourselves as victims. The circumstances – other people, other events, other situations – impose themselves on us.”
“We operate within the bandwidth provided by others. We also operate in the bandwidth we are willing to grant to ourselves. In the final analysis, when we are willing to release ourselves from our own judgments, we are freed from the boundaries ascribed by others.”
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013