Saturday, March 19, 2011

A place I miss

It amazing how a book can spark a feeling.

Today I started reading an Ian McEwan novel (he wrote Atonement) and it brought delight but also a feeling of longing for a place I miss.

That place is a book store. Most specifically Schuler Books at the Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing, MI. For the last year that I live in America I used to go to Schuler Books to get away, be alone (although surrounded by other customers), have a hot drink, and curl up in a chair with a book.

My favorite spot there was near the fireplace. Although it wasn’t often lit I loved the big, cozy chairs and couches there. I used to walk through the store hoping there was at least one spot left in that area where I could plant myself for hours on end enjoying the serenity that the place gave me.

When I needed a break I would wind myself through the aisles of bookcases, full of words, wisdom, and escape. I find some of the greatest comfort being surrounded by books. Places full of them harbor endless possibilities to discover. Their silent demeanor will never judge and the feel of their spines is strong and solid.

The tiny anti-consumerist in me had the idea once to read a book from cover to cover in the store without ever buying it. It was The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan. It was a short book so for a few days I would read part of the book, remember my place, and put the book back where it belonged. I was excited to return the next time to read more of it.

My heart longs for this place and the comfort it brings. Here in my Moroccan town I don’t have a “place” to call mine. I have my apartment, which I can be alone and myself, but I miss those places to go to get out of the house.

Soon enough I will be able to fine a new “place” for me when I get settled someplace new. It’s definitely something to look forward to.