Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Books Are My Shoes: Memoirs of a Shopaholic . . . of sorts

Yesterday I went to the bookstore looking for The Lightening Thief series for my kids.

Okay. I'll be honest. It was for me first. Then my kids. But the movie's out, and I LOVE an excuse to go to the movies--especially a good fantasy. There's something about munching on the heart-attack-in-a-bucket popcorn, sipping an ice-filled-all-the-way-to-the-top diet coke, and melting into the adventure on the bigscreen that just hits a bullseye on my little happiness spot. However, since I'm a reader first--my true love in life--I try to keep myself to one simple rule.

Read the book first.

Enter a trip to the bookstore.

This time, as I made my way through the familiar doors, I noticed a new display reminding me that it is black history month and urging me to pick up something to help me celebrate. I was sufficiently urged.

My eye fell on a book with a beautiful black woman on the cover. Kindred, it was called, by Octavia Butler. It tells of a 26-year-old modern black woman who keeps getting sent back in time to rescue slaves. Mmm. Danger and intrigue mixed with history and a dash of science fiction. I half-heartedly perused some other possibilities, but the truth is this one spoke to me from the first--kind of like that scene from Memoirs of a Shopaholic when the green scarf talks to Becky Bloomwood. And while the book didn't go so far as to promise me my dream job, I knew, as soon as I riffled through its pages, that I would walk out of there with it neatly clutched in my hands.

My other selection, besides The Lightening Thief--yes, I actually bought the book I had come for--was The Princess Bride. I know what you're thinking. Hasn't she seen the movie? Of course, she has! And I think it might actually cause me physical pain to read a book for which I have not only seen the movie, but also memorized numerous favorite parts. It's a classic. However, this is for a book club I belong to, so I'm hoping the promise of book-conversation (another favorite) will make up for the lack of "surprise." Who am I kidding--I know I'll enjoy the book because, well, it's a book! But oh how I HATE knowing the ending--plus a lot of the juicy middles--before I've even turned the first page. Hopefully there will be some surprises along the way anyhow.

I might have known I'd go into the store for one book and come out with three. I'm such a sucker for books. My kids know this about me and sneakily ask for them at every opportunity, sensing an easy sale. I've started to catch on and have put my foot down until they finish the stacks on their bookshelves at home.

I decided on this particular trip to the bookstore, though, as my heart lightened and my mood improved in anticipation of my purchases, that I'm not like many women I know who experience such feelings when they walk by a display of designer shoes. I've never had that tingling for shoes. Then I realized--books are my shoes.

And I've got it just as bad as anyone.