Are you looking for something in our Fiction store? the email asks. Actually I’m doing everything I can to stop looking in your fiction store because there are so many books I want to read that I’ll soon own enough books to build a house of books and the walls will hold me up and sustain me for many lives to come.
I want to read everything my favorite authors ever wrote and then, accidentally I hear about another author who sounds just my thing and then I’m standing in the bookshop and there the book is right in front of me on a special table and even though I spent far too much on books last week I can’t help picking it up. And if you want to know why I’m in the bookshop at all then it’s because I’m helping out with my daughter’s class while they’re attending a reading from a ‘real author’.
And the feeling I get when I pick up a book is all ‘ooh’ and ‘what is it going to be like’ and ‘this could be amazing’ and ‘I think this just might tally with how I see the world’ and then I’m going to have to read all this guy’s books too and ‘look, oh no, there’s another one he’s written that looks brilliant and the cover is lovely’,
In the postbox, packages from a literary journal I’ve re-subscribed to and another book I ordered from the online fiction store, Beside my bed the two books I had to buy from the real bookshop when I brought my 5 year old to use his voucher for which he paid for a book from one of his favourite author/illustrator team who brought him the Gruffalo and now he wants to read everything they’ve done.
On the way home from the book shop my daughter’s friend said ‘and they didn’t know you were a real author too’ (I gave a talk in her class) and my own book was in the bookshop from which I can’t help picking up books and either buying them or putting them down again and feeling like I’ve abandoned something very important and precious, left a piece of myself behind.
Beside my bed is one of the books I couldn’t help picking up and it IS amazing and it DOES speak in a way that makes sense to me, reflects how I see the world not just on the surface but underneath in a very heartfelt almost ‘in love’ way. And I’m only a little way through and I’ll be sad when this brand new experience, this new lovely connection with the first reading of this book ends.
‘Oh I never knew you felt this way too’.
‘Why would someone read a book?’ I was once asked at a wedding years ago. The seismic shock of this question on my psyche is still reverberating today…
Possible answers: Entertainment, Fun, To pass the time.
Other possible answers: There are other worlds in there, weird, lovely and true.
YES! The answer is YES! It’s the same reason that I must now dash off and write. I want to live in many possible worlds, to be moved, entertained, to love (and wring my hands at) the world and the way people are in it.
YES! I am ALWAYS looking for something in your fiction store!