Monday, August 07, 2006

Zen and the Art of Barnes and Noble

Bookstores overwhelm me. I love spending time there...walking up and down the aisles peering at volumes of things that I haven't read. It's just the sort of nerdtastic thing a girl like me would enjoy doing. And I do. I can never seem to actually choose anything, though...which is a problem when I'd actually like to be reading something.

There's just so much... I mean, first, there's all the books that I'm "supposed" to have already read, but haven't...so maybe I should choose one of those and alleviate my guilt. Then again, there's all the books that people have recommended to me...and I should probably choose one of those for conversational purposes. Or maybe I should choose a book from an author I've already read...since there's some precedent that it could be an enjoyable read. And I'm always distracted by the ones with the pretty covers (which are no doubt compensating for some prosaic lack)...but, no, those won't do. Bleh. So mostly I just wander around...wide-eyed and stimulus-bound...and then leave empty handed, but feeling like I've done something with my time.

Every now and then, however, I manage a sort of divining rod... If I can just not freak out about the weight of the decision... If I can dispense with my agenda of really wanting to find a book... If I can relax into the fact that, quite frankly, I have no earthly idea what I want to read... If I can just be for a little while...somehow, the book I most need/want to be reading will appear.

Last night was a divining rod sort of night and I wound up with an interesting little book of thoughts from a Buddhist nun. It wasn't at all the sort of book I was looking for (prior to finding it, I had been most distracted by Kate Chopin's The Awakening and a very shiny cover to a book called The Martini Diet)...but it's exactly the book I actually need to be reading right now.

I wonder how many other things I could discover if I could just learn to let go and trust...

1 comment:

J.Bro said...

I let clearance sales decide my fate. Do the gods want me to finally read Lolita? Then they'll put it on clearance for $1.80.

Barnes & Noble is my magazine resource. I have a free subscription to at least 30 magazines there - some that I'd actually pay for (Bicycling, Mother Jones), some that I'd happily accept as a gift (Rolling Stone, Dwell, GQ), and some that I only read when I'm sure no one I know will show up (British Maxim - ads with boobies!).