What is you favorite place?
Whispered book titles and authors’ names fill the air, full of ancient information and endless imagination. The smell of my coffee fills the tiny corner in which I curl myself up and open a book to the pleasure of a thousand word combinations to be encountered. I admire the yellowing pages as I thumb through them, and look carefully as I settle on the cover: a winding path surrounded by vividly green hills, a hobbit hole, and a very large gray wizard on his way to meet a very unexpected little hero: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Taking a sip of bitter coffee, I turn off my phone and read, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…”
Used bookstores are my favorite places. Being surrounded by time-worn books, by titles and authors that have shaped history and human perception provides for me a transient peace that I return to as often as possible. As soon as I learned how to read, books became my favorite refuge: they became an entrance into a secret island in my head, and like a young Jane Eyre, I gobbled them up as voraciously as time allowed. The only time in my whole life when I was disciplined at school was when I would read in class after finishing my work, instead of listening to my elementary school teacher (this has become quite a joke in my family). However, I do not just read at used bookstores; I also write. Another personal joy of mine (this one discovered at an arts magnet school in sixth grade), poetry comes more easily and more beautifully when encompassed by the hundreds of stories at book stores.
Used bookstores are meaningful to me because they encompass everything that I want to be as I grow older: a scholar, a teacher, a writer, an editor, a great lover of all things written and bound and thumbed-through. Books well-loved are eternally marvelous; being encased in a chrysalis of literature is important in reminding me of my ambitions, and in keeping them close to my heart.