Sunday, January 8, 2012

Adopt Me

Yet another kindred spirit.

Last weekend we bundled up and went for a walk in our neighbourhood. Happening upon a used book store and never being able to resist the pull of books, we popped in for a quick look.

There is no such thing as a “quick look” in this shop. Oh, if you only had a moment and were on the hunt for something specific, the owner could certainly put his hand right on it and help you on your way. He knows every book on every shelf. But, if you’re like me and just dreamily walk along the aisles, you had better unbutton your coat - you’ll be there for a while.

This is a special store. It seems that each book has been considered, merits determined, and if, and only if, it passes the “this is a fine book” test, can it be lovingly placed among the other fine books. All the great classics are there. Your favourite childhood books are there too. Some of the best examples of writing in all genres.

I purchased three books. One is a gift for my seafaring friend. The second, Leo Buscaglia’s “LOVE” written in 1972, and carried around in a fringed boho satchel by an adoring teenager. Re-reading it through my 54 year old eyes was such a great experience. I remember my 15 year old self, long blonde hair, beads, flower print skirt, over the knee chocolate brown suede boots (oh, how I loved those boots), the scent of Loves Fresh Lemon that I spritzed on each day, and feeling that Leo had it right. That I had found a kindred spirit. I still feel that way.

The third, a tome containing a collection of plays, short stories and poems of Oscar Wilde. When I opened it, I found an inscription “Christmas 1987 - Andre, we hope you enjoy this. Thanks for being such a good friend. Your friends, Bruce and Carolyn”. Andre, if you happen to be reading this, and somehow this book slipped away and you’d love to have it back, just let me know and I will see it is returned. In the meantime, I will look after it for you.

Knowing a true book lover when he sees one, the owner said “look at this” and handed us a beautiful leather bound book, with pages like I’d never seen or felt before. It was printed in the 1600s and is very valuable. For the right person, it will feel like the greatest find. It was a special experience just to touch it.

“Please tell me that you have a child that loves this as much as you do and wants to take it over when you retire.” “I have a family” he replied, “but none of them want the store.” “Adopt me.” I said, as I smiled, clutched my bag of books, and headed back out into the chilly street.

“Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.” Leo Buscalgia

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