An empty bookstore: it has got to be one of the saddest spectacles my young eyes have ever lighted upon.
My mind and heart still hold the images of the knowledge-packed shelves, the navigational signs, the posters announcing the arrival of the latest Harry Potter book, the place where all the Children's award-winners reigned supreme and where I would sit on cold days and peruse what looked adventurously promising.
This was the place I discovered my love for such writers as E.L. Konigsburg and Gordon Korman. It was here that I read the first few pages of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, soon to become one of my very favorites. It was here that I began to learn the way of the Newbery Medal, given out once a year, and of the Honors which were received by a few of the most noteworthy runners-up.
This place was called "Borders," but when we were small one of us mistakenly referred to it as "Boxers." Ah, memories.
I can be sure that I, being a young adult attempting to write Young Adult, am not the only one significantly affected by the existence of good, material bookstores.
We all benefit from a visit to Barnes & Noble, and not just because half of the world's nicest people live between the pages of its merchandise. For all the greatness and triumph of discovery in the form of new places you don't have to pack your suitcase and cross oceans to see, it is, in my opinion, an equally wondrous thing to walk through the doors and enter the familiar building, which is filled to the brim with wisdoms (good and bad), eyes and ears of others destined to become your own (if only for a week or so), lives to be lived, lines to be crossed, and hidden worlds to be found and lifted up into the sunlight of one's own imagination.
There is an atmosphere of mystery, of invisible music that longs to be heard, whist a smell of ages and of knowledge (and of coffee, in some cases) signals the beginning of something wonderful, though who can ever know what it is just yet?
It's an adventure, walking into a bookstore or library. It's an experience; a meditation; a magic spell. The visit itself may be a journey; a quest; or perhaps simply a lazy boat-ride: a drift, if you will. Whatever one's preference, it is what it is, and that is wondrous.
Now, imagine, if you will, the world without bookstores or libraries. If there were none of these available, what should naturally follow but (horror of horrors!) a world without books? "What does it matter?" some might counter. "Who needs paperbacks or places to keep them when one has the internet?"
What do you think?
A little more about my guest:
Hi, my name is Grace. I’m 16 years old, and I write fiction for Children and Young Adults … Well, technically, I am attempting to write said fiction. I have not ever been published, but it is my goal to finish my first book by summer of next year and begin the dreaded (or joyfully anticipated: whichever you like) campaign to become a published author.
I began meeting with Amy last year, and she has been amaaaaaziiiiing: Thank you, Amy! I love to write in many genres, though most of my plots seem to have at least a trickle of fantasy threading through them. I am really a wizard at heart, or maybe a fairy: it’s a tough decision.
Some of my favorite authors are Kate DiCamillo, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Helen Keller, and J.K. Rowling. If you haven’t read something by one or more of these people, DO IT! They are all different, and they are all wonderful.
Thank you for doing this, Grace! You are wonderful! *hugs*