To Read or Not to Read

July 2nd, 2007
Task #83
Visit the biggest bookstore in America: Powells in Portland

My being is like a sailing ship, that is not ready or destined to dock…it is always roaming about the waters. Yet, my being still finds the light from the house on the shore assuring….Books are my lighthouses. They provide groundedness—a stability, in malleable form…always changing, the interpretation so connected to experience of the here and now.

For the past two moves of my life, I go through a process of purging items. I rate my belongings on a scale of 1-5 and only items rated a 4 or 5 come with me. I don’t own much, so it must say something that 50% of the boxes I unpack each time are books of some sort.

And I have a passion for independent bookstores. This is my “Cheers”…my church. My place of worship, where the sacredness in me is honored and I am known as a regular, and often recognizable for pursuing the “pews” but also so unknown as well by the other parishoners, the most essential parts of me hidden or unexplored, and only tapped into when I pick up a book and possibility fumes from the pages below.

God help me should I ever go blind…my heart would hurt so much from the lack of freedom I would experience from the depravity of picking up a book and the surge of empowerment I feel from deciding whether to read or not to read…

For me, books are a pathway to hope. They are the key to transformation, the illumination of evolution. Not an escape, but a compass for sailing in a direction to an undiscovered, yet-to-be-named terrain that waits for me to claim it as my own.

And thus, Powells in Portland was mind-blowingly awesome. So awesome that I hope that it starts a new tradition of seeking out independent bookstores wherever I travel…any suggestions?

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One thought on “To Read or Not to Read

  1. Strand Bookstore in New York City! Their slogan is “18 miles of books,” and it’s completely true – the place is massive, and packed floor to ceiling in a well-organized way. Plus, everything is discounted, so you can get all sorts of wonderful new things for ultra-cheap.

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