Last week I went to a book reading in The Gutter Bookshop, an independent book store in Dublin’s Temple Bar, and fell in love.
Reading has always been my thing ( I have an MA in Literary studies) but as with a lot of things, I don’t do it as much as I used to, or as much as I would like. Partly time, partly laziness, partly because I now have the attention span of a gnat thanks to my Twitter obsession. When I do read now, it’s usually through the kindle app on my iPhone when I’m sitting on the floor in my daughter’s bedroom waiting for her to fall asleep. One hand on her back (huggy, mama, huggy), one scrolling through the pages. Not exactly quality ‘me time’. But hey, at least I’m reading and since she can take about an hour to fall asleep, I can get through a lot if I really put my mind to it.
But when I walked into the bookshop last Monday evening I was reminded of the beauty of an actual book, and how much I missed them, and browsing through a bookstore discovering new and old favourites. Due to ‘financial constraints’ I haven’t been buying many (any) new releases as they seemed so expensive, especially given I read very quickly and if I like a book I’ll usually be finished it in less than a week. I have a list of ‘want to reads’ on Goodreads, but was waiting for them to come down to around £3.99 on Kindle ,cheapskate that I am. And I saw some of those books in the Gutter Bookshop on Monday night, and oh they were lovely. The covers so smooth, so pretty, so evocative. I kept picking them up, and kind of…stroking them (weirdo) and then my eye would be caught by another jewel and I’d pick it up, and stroke it (weirdo). I could have done that for hours. ( I guess eventually I would have been removed from the shop but y’know, feelings.)
For what it’s worth, some of the books I was looking at, which are on my wishlist were:
Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
What Belongs to You – Garth Greenwell
Among the Ten Thousand Things – Julia Pierpont
This Must Be The Place – Maggie O’Farrell
And so, thinking about this over the last week or so, I have decided to pledge that once a month I will go in to an actual bookshop and buy an actual book. One with a smooth, pretty, evocative cover that I can stroke, and hold , and keep , and love. And I won’t be reading it on the floor of my daughter’s bedroom.