Thursday, November 7, 2013

{The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson}

One of my "most happy places" is a bookstore. I'm not picky...I love them all. Barnes & Noble, Half Price, tiny shops tucked away, libraries (I know-not technically a store)... I try to visit one of them at least once a week, sometimes more. Sadly, I don't always get to.
A week will go by, or two or even three and I will find myself physically missing the smell of the books. I'll get an itch, and it will have to be scratched.
This happened yesterday. After work, I drove to my local HPB, found the very first spot open and waiting for me, hopped out of the car with a smile on my face and went inside. Instead of going to the right side of the store per usual, I switched it up and went left.
I don't think I will ever start on the right again.
I found treasure. Treasure that's probably been there forever, but because I'm usually preoccupied and looking for a specific book (on cooking or crafts or other stuff that I think I *might* need, but in reality gets flipped through once or twice and then tossed aside), I've missed it completely.
The treasures I found were old and faded and leather bound and delicious.
I gently ran my finger across the spines. Inhaled the smells of the bindings and the papers and...the past.
That's when I saw it. The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson. A 4th "impression" (edition) from the 1920s. Now, I'm no poet addict or anything, although I do enjoy the classics, but I've always had a soft spot for Ms. Dickinson. I remember when I was 11 or 12 and an English teacher was giving away some of her books before she became a stay-at-home-mom. I grabbed a copy of Anne Frank's Diary and a small, soft pink copy of Emily's poems. I read them both, cover to cover, and then I lovingly placed them on my be read again many times. I still have The Diary.
It's a funny thing, priority.
You see, when I was young, I adored my books. They were my prized possessions. The only immaculate spot in my disaster of a bedroom. Just ask my parents. They will confirm this.
These days, the bookshelf is more of a dumping ground. There's books, junk mail, hair and dust.
When I'm finished with this lovely story, I vow to place it gently on my bookshelf and cherish it until the day comes that it should be shared with someone else.
And I promise to only buy books that lift my soul.

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