Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Return of Book


Have you ever experienced the feeling of wanting to do something again that you once did?  Activities such as sewing, painting art, writing a daily blog, building models for show or even reading a book are some of the hobbies that at one time brought a certain joy to your life but what happened?  Your job requires more hours, you’re in a more demanding relationship, a new hobby has dominated your time or you decided to take a brief break but never returned to it.  There may come a moment in the future when an opportunity presents itself to take back that activity, what would you do?

Return of Book

A tall slender man in his late twenties walked around in yet another mall in Hong Kong.  He was still amazed at how many different ones he had been to in this city, the land of many malls he liked to think of it as.  He didn’t have much interest in most stores but he wasn’t a man of many interests anyway.  He had his certain likes and stuck to them.  His girlfriend was with him, she was about his age but Chinese instead of white like him.  He received all sorts of looks from the people around but mostly since he was so tall compared to the average bystander.  He didn’t pay much attention to the stares and didn’t let it bother him either.  He was curious as to where his girlfriend was leading him though and became rather intrigued when he did find out.

She entered a bookstore which was a less common sight in this city.  There were plenty of them but compared to the mass amount of all stores it felt like a small number.  He followed her as he often did in this foreign part of the world.  She was at home though and moved freely about.  He let her know he was fine and she could go browsing about.  He looked around near the entrance and noticed the store was actually bigger than most, meaning he didn’t have to walk sideways through the aisles or duck his head.  The rows of shelves with books weren’t as tightly packed either which made him feel more comfortable.  He wasn’t claustrophobic by any means but he did enjoy the spacious confines of American stores better.  What didn’t change though was the amount of people packed inside this store; it seemed every store in this city had at least twenty people in it.  He had gotten used to that over time and worked his way around to the English section.

A little boy walked by with his eyes fixed upon him, his head turning round still watching as he walked away.  The tall man smiled briefly as he knew he must be quite a sight.  Most people in the store didn’t pay him much mind and probably thought him to be a university student at the nearby school.  He looked off to his right and saw his girlfriend crouched down by a rack; he returned his gaze forward and spotted something of interest.  He saw various books by Jules Verne in paperback and continued to stare at them.  He had always wanted to read Verne, in particular A Journey to the Center of the Earth because he thought dinosaurs of some kind may be in it.  He fancied stories of dinosaurs since he was a kid and a skeleton head of one of them was near the top of the front cover.  He stared on for awhile longer and almost drooled.  It was a rekindled emotion for him that he had not felt for years.

He was fascinated to see books that he suddenly wanted to pick up and read.  What had caused such an interest though?  He picked one of them up to get a closer look.  The summary on the back cover really sparked his desire to read it more.  He had an idea of what the book was about but what really spoke to him was did the people really make it to the center of the earth?  He loved adventure and fiction stories very much but remembered it had been years since he even picked up a book.  He thought of the many still sitting on his shelves back home collecting dust.  He thought back to the time when he did read more often and those stories began to sprout up in his memory.  Jurassic Park took precedence since it was the first novel he had ever read and he loved every word of it, it took him only a few days to read it and he was barely a teenager if that.  He felt an urge begin to overcome him.

He put the book back down and walked around the store in search of his girlfriend.  He couldn’t find her right away and began to look at more books.  He paced side to side while staring at book after book with the Verne novels flashing in his mind.  He lost focus on his browsing while thinking about them.  He stopped looking and found his girlfriend nearby.  He liked to consult with her as she supported his decisions much of the time.  He knew he could simply pick up the books and purchase them but discussing it with her was always fun to him.  He liked to see her happy smile while he shared interests he had that she may not yet know he even had.  She urged him to get the books which he knew she would say anyway.  She often thought of him as an excited kid at a toy store when he saw something he wanted but was debating whether or not to get it.  She grabbed a few Chinese books and watched him walk to get his.

There were several Verne stories but he grabbed the one he had previously read the summary of first.  It was his now he thought as a rush of fresh joy filled his eyes.  He felt compelled to not just stop at one though, he had never read Verne before and had no way of knowing he would even like it but picked up another one anyway.  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, now that’s an adventure with Captain Nemo!  He knew of this one as well but not much other than that submarine on the front cover.  He felt an even greater feeling of happiness as he held two books now.  He continued to look at the rest of the books and saw The Mysterious Island.  He had never heard of this one but a moment took him and he seized it.  He grabbed the final book without knowing anything of it and felt a satisfaction with the three he selected.  He always wanted to read Verne and now he had a chance, fate had put him in a position to not stand idly by while opportunity was there.  He had to retake control of the old habits he once knew that had been replaced by various other occurrences he didn’t even care for anymore.

He walked up to the cashier and set down the books.  After everything was paid for and his girlfriend and he left the bookstore he looked back and saw a moment that he dominated.  He had become someone who dreamed but never pursued, someone who thought of acting but rarely did, someone who thought he could do it later and ignore it for now, someone who began to let laziness grow over him like a vine and squeeze.  He now woke from that dream, bought those books, set before him what he could do now and ripped the vine from his once weakened spirit.  A change had happened to him as he decided to set out in life and do those things his heart longed for.  He would no longer take things as they come but instead go out and take what he always wanted.  That’s not to say giving into all desires set before him but rather he would now face life as he always actually wanted to, not how he imagined it should be.  As far as books were concerned he read those three shortly upon returning home to America and has been reading daily ever since. 

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