This is another post written by my sweet husband, who has so kindly offered to make this blog both of ours. So occasionally he'll be writing here too, which I'm super pumped about! So look for more from him in the coming weeks :)
We took a trip to downtown Mesa a week or so ago. Our family walked the streets, wandering curiously in and out of little shops, buying nothing, but looking at everything. I hope we’re not the only ones who do that.
After an hour, or maybe two (not sure though… I get lost in thought when I wander. I’m often interrupted by a colorful leaf or a quirky sign, and it has given me the reputation of the dog on, Up, in our home, since I have the tendency to get dis— “Squirrel!”)
So as we strolled, we came across a used bookstore, rightly named, BookGallery.
If you know me, you know I am a consistent lover of books, and when I see one, I like to gaze over it, wondering what magic is hidden inside.
I found myself walking over the threshold with Lisa at my side (who is also a sucker for books) and the scent of old-yellowed pages filled the room. Timeworn volumes lined every shelf and dusty lights hung overhead. I was gone.
You see, typically, I feel I am a pretty attentive parent, but when books or giant wonderful HDTV’s are lurking nearby, I tend to get… Squirrel!
By the time I decided which isle I was going to float through, Lisa had already found a cranny, stuffed with beautiful Dickens-ish novels, standing straight and stiff inside the shelves, like flawless soldiers ready for inspection.
I passed Shakespeare and Chaucer in one go. The place reminded me of the old bookstore in, The Neverending Story (slightly psychotic movie, but cool bookstore) where Bastian Bux ran into the crazy bookkeeper.
Toward the end of the isle, Dylan spotted a ladder, the cool kind that slide across the bookshelves with ease so one can climb to the highest shelf and reach for the most coveted book.
He gave me that look, the kind that says, “Oh, you gotta let me do this, Dad.”
I sighed, and then said, “I guess, but only for a second.”
He sprung up the steps like a book-ninja. “Whoa!” he whispered, scoping out the joint from a giant man’s view. “This is so cool. Push me, Dad.”
Actually, it was cool, and I did push him. If I was brave enough and didn’t fear the wrath of the bookkeeper, I would have jumped on with him and sung like Belle from Beauty and the Beast when she picks up her book at the beginning of the movie, but I withheld the urge. If anyone was going to get in trouble, it’d be Dylan. I’d bolt for the door.
Then it was Lily's turn...
After the thrill of the ladder, we meandered some more. Old Bibles from the 1800’s written in Greek, gazed up at me from bottom shelves. Beaten up copies of the Star Wars saga peeked over the edge from above.
Lisa was somewhere around the place, tickling her fingers across the spines of leather covers. Seth was shipwrecked somewhere across the ocean, imprisoned within a deep, dark dungeon. Lily trailed behind me, clutching an old copy of Winnie the Pooh . And Dylan rattled off every single book we passed, pointing at each one.
The place was a gem, holding stories I wanted, or already had, or just simply loved. Books share with us the world and what it is and what its like. Not all books are good. Some are downright horrible. But at the same time, the most important words ever said are written in a book. Histories tell us of our past and teach us what not to do again. And good fiction expresses truths in ways that nonfiction often falls short.
There is a power in books and it is a power that moves this world. Perhaps that is why they are so captivating. Whether you like them or not, books breathe life into this place we call earth. And that breath is a wind that no one can ignore, for it carries in its streams a knowledge we deeply need.
And perhaps, that is the reason I feel magic when I hold a book in my hands.