Friday, February 21, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 8

Go Book Browsing. 

You don't have to tell me twice. 

Book browsing is right up there alongside her three sisters. 

Book Buying, 
Book Reading and 
Book Writing. 

So browsing a second hand book store fit into my week with little effort ~ if you don't count the effort it took to walk out with only one purchase. 

The Merchant Of Fairness has been one of my favourite second hand book shops for years. The well-known Balwyn book-stop has moved into a smaller premises in recent days, but it still offers more than enough browsing for the dedicated book lover. 

I've adopted a healthy number of Australian history books from The Merchant of Fairness, and left half a dozen orphans behind this week, for another day.

I reminded myself I was there to browse. To linger and visit sections of the store beyond my love of fiction and history, and thumb through pages which took my fancy on shelves sometimes overlooked. 

52 Dates for Writers prods me to look at a bookstore with hope. To imagine my books right there, and ponder what my reader might feel about the characters and events of the novel. 

What would I like a reader to take away with them?  How will they feel when they see the cover for the first time? After a year? After more? 

So I touched one display, and then another. Imagining. Breathing in old book smells. Wondering about the authors and where they were now, if they were at all, anymore. 

I thought of my own author friends. Some who've only recently held their debut book for the first time. That moment when the dream crosses into the nearest a book will ever come to having flesh. To being a creation with breath. To pull a stream of tears, knock one into despair, elevate to hope ... and wrap up in that satisfying end we all crave. 

Most authors I know would love to write a classic. But most of us thrill to know there's a simple escape within the covers ~ space for our reader to wander into something new, familiar, entertaining or expected. Or scary. Or heartbreaking. 

A few footsteps from The Merchant of Fariness, a little cafe pays tribute to the plethora of books on the other side of their shared wall, with a display of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 

A favourite of mine, as a student and literature teacher, it almost knocked on the window and whistled at me. 

30 years after I first read it, it remains a book I can't ignore or forget. One I'd stop to photograph. And write about. 

Yes, I was glad I stopped to go book browsing. 

In doing so I was reminded of what I want to give my reader. 

An emotional experience.

To draw them aside from wherever they might be going, and pull them into a cage of my own making.

Just until they reach... The End. 

Do you have an all-time favourite book? 
Blessings for a wonderful weekend,