Maria Chimes In: Episode 13 – Books on Books on Books

books on books

How do you read them?



This week on Maria Chimes In, we discussed a topic we often mention during out podcasts. It is no surprise we love to reading. I personally can think of no better activity, and ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a book in my hand, even before becoming literate. We talked about our current reading list and the bookstores that speak to our souls, and our inability to leave our favorite bookstore empty-handed.
As discussed in a previous column, there are words that ring with sweetness like ‘ethereal,’ and strength like ‘epoch.’ And then there are those words you thought could not possibly exist. There could not be a word sufficient to describe the overwhelming feeling of being situated in a musty, used bookstore (see adj. ineffable).



But a recent BuzzFeed article proved me wrong. Vellichor: n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured. Sweeter words have never been read.


For me, bookstores have long been my sanctuary, and there has never been a limit to the spending damage I can wreak. I have strolled through the scenic neighborhoods in Brooklyn Heights, only to admire the mammoth-sized bookshelves noticeable from street-view, and I have spent hours pouring over books throughout the world — Atlantis Books in Santorini, Greece, Kramerbooks in D.C., City Lights in San Francisco, Strand in Manhattan, and closer to home, Community Bookstore nestled in Park Slope. There is nothing like words sprawled across a page and nothing more poignant, more powerful than finding ourselves in an author’s creation.
Kathryn describes a different connection with books — the urgency to get through a novel, comprehend it, and then be tested on it, aka, school. Once wrought with anxieties, reading has become a true pleasure, unlike any other art form.



KTB Editors

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