Doorknobs and Bookstores

Nov 13, 2005Family Uncaged, Write!

Out of the blue, Sophie said, “Mom, I miss doorknobs.”

“Hmm,” I said. “Me too.” We have door levers in our home. No knobs. Sophie’s comments made me think about what else I missed about home.

The first thing that came to mind was this: I miss bookstores. And libraries. One of the things I’d do back home to wind down was to go to Half Priced Books and peruse the bookcases for hours. I’d touch book spines. I’d open books and smooth their pages. I’d read snippets of prose. I’d thumb through cookbooks. (And I’d leave with a pile of books). If I felt rich, I’d venture to Barnes and Noble and spend time perusing or sitting in an overstuffed chair, or maybe meet a friend for tea. And in my ultimate thrift, I’d head with the kids to the library, each of us skittering to our favorite bookshelf. We’d leave with a pile.

The library in our village is smaller than my kitchen, and you have to pay to belong. Most bookstores here aren’t places to leisurely browse.

Being a writer without a good library or bookstore is like being a dog without a bone to gnaw on. The dog may chew up a sneaker or two instead, but footwear can’t compare to the feel of bone to canines. I’m tired of chewing on sneakers (which for me is browsing on Amazon). I want a bone!

People from our church back home have been amazing about sending care packages. What a blessing it’s been to have bits and pieces of home to assuage our teasings of loneliness. But there are no boxes that fit an entire bookstore, are there?