I am not sure for how long my mom has been taking us to the Barnes & Noble near my house. What I do know, though, is that we always found ourselves there whenever it was rainy or too hot or we were bored at home. This bookstore, unlike the other Barnes & Noble stores in our area, is one of my favorite places in the world. Going there makes me happy, which sounds typical, but it’s true. Even the scent of the store–the combination between the smell of books and the sweet coffee of the Starbucks there–makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Upon entering, you first usually notice the signs at the entrance, advertising for future book signings or events. At the front there are shelves of the most popular books, the ones that people who don’t usually read will likely pick up. The cashiers are on the right, and near them are stands full of expensive trinkets I always look at but never buy.
The past few years, I think, the store has become even more full of books than it already was. They reorganized the Young Adult section to bring it near the kid’s books, and I miss the old spot it was in which was more obscure and quiet. Nonetheless, I’m not as bothered by this change as I am by other things. All of the shelves have some books that are tagged with a recommendation by a staff member of the bookstore. The kid’s section has places to sit–though it is very rare to be able to catch one of the actual seats–whenever I wanted to try out a book I would go and sit down in one of the corners there. In this bookstore, I spent most of my money in 8th grade; trying to get as many deals as possible. One time, I brought up two paperbacks–each worth $9.99–and had only $20, which is surely not enough to buy what I wanted. But the lady there was kind enough to give me a coupon, and I still remember this, even after five years.
Now that I’m writing about the bookstore, I’m realizing I can’t really describe much of it. It’s not that I don’t know the place well, but because it is not the actual setting of the store as much as it is how I feel when I go there. Over the years of visiting there, I’ve associated it with getting away from things I don’t like; it’s been my escape. I never actually sat down and read books in entirety there, but I always came and read the flaps of books to see what they’re about. I admired the covers of stories I’ll never read, or asked my mom to buy a frappuccino from Starbucks while I’m there. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve followed this same, satisfying routine. It sounds boring when I write about it this way, but it’s always so calm there–a visit to this Barnes and Noble in particular has its own nice rhythm–and it feels so familiar. I suppose it’s a mix of nostalgia and a certain degree of comfortableness that makes me love the place so much.
// // // // //