What are your 15 Simple Pleasures in life?
- 10 minutes entirely to yourself
- A hot bubble bath
- Hot cup of fresh coffee and a good book
- Receiving a letter from a friend
- A hug from Sally
- Having a stompy dance to ‘My Sharona’ in FAB
- 10 minutes watching my lava lamp
- Sitting in my windowsill watching the world go by
- Stroking my cat in front of the fire
- Mom’s roast dinners (more so for their rarity)
- Browsing in a second hand bookshop
- Making a list and completing everything on it
- Watching the sunset
- An afternoon nap, esp. if it is winter when it is cold
Write about 250-500 words for one of them.
#11 Browsing in a second hand bookshop
This is definitely one of my most favoured ‘simple pleasures’ for it is such an unpredictable endeavour. Often I go specifically with a mental list of things that I am looking for. Mostly this is for the sake of my wallet which whilst generous in regards to books needs to be kept an eye on lest I not be able to pay the rent the following month. Going with a list also means you are more likely to have success because you are focused on the things that you actually desire as opposed to the more randomly successfully perusing of the shelves in general. Having said that I do tend to keep my ‘browsing’ eye employed also, just in case, but I have had relatively good success with the list format.
I love that it is such a singular occupation, that it encompasses a great feeling of solitude whilst being amongst others in a similar frame of mind. A random conversation might be struck upon by folk browsing in a similar section or every one might prefer to stick to their own little island in the sea of happy browsing, but the important thing is the potential for such interactions.
That feeling of success when you eye finally catches sight of what you were searching for and your hand pounces with glee towards the book in question, you then have the few minutes of matching up the item to your mental checklist to clarify that it is indeed what you were looking for. Then comes the exploration of smell, suitability, price. The checking of the binding, that it is tight and in a condition you are willing to accept into your home and personal collection of well treasured books, that there aren’t pages missing, because sometimes the mind knows in advance that such a fortuitous find might just be too good to be true (rarely I have found that this is the case, but certainly once or twice) and also the checking that the previous owner was as kind as possible to their previous books. An abused book takes some comforting and reassurance that you are not cut from the same cloth in terms of willing cruelty or neglect.
Then, when you have assured yourself that this is indeed what you were looking for, you have two further options, continue your happy browsing, for you have a longer list than one item and you might just stumble across a surprise, or go and pay for your desired item(s) and leave the comfort of the premises that smell of such promise for home, to introduce your new purchase to the rest of your bookshelf and to indulge in the reading of it at your leisure.
Finally then, one of my favourite times to look in second hand bookshops is when it is cold and/wet outside, there is something that I find inherently comforting and secure about browsing in bookshops, a home away from home as it were. A place in some instances where you can curl up and skim through a potential purchase. There are a few shops I frequent that have proper fires in the winter and encourage you to hang around perhaps that bit longer than a more up market shop might entice you to do so. It is that jeans, sturdy shoes and thick, warm woollen sweater feel that comes with a second hand bookshop that I particularly appreciate… along with the books of course.