25 October 2007

Alone Among Others

"Books connect us with others, but that connection is created in solitude, one reader in one chair hearing one writer, what John Irving refers to as one genius speaking to another. It's simple to order books on-line, over the phone, or via catalogue and wait for the delivery man to scurry away before we open the door. But 90 percent of us who buy books still get out of the house and go to the bookstore, to be among the books, yes, but also to be among other book buyers, the like-minded, even if we might never say a word to them. Elias Canetti has described caf├ęs as places we go to be "alone among others," and I've always felt this was true of the bookstore, too. It's a lovely combination, this solitude and gathering, almost as if the bookstore were the antidote for what it sold."
– Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

Very likely the reason I love bookstores as much as I do.

"Alone among others"...speaks a lot about my life at the moment, I think.

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