I’ve always loved words; so much so, in fact that I even wrote my college essay on this obsession. Friends could tell you all about how I would trip up the stairs in elementary school because I always had my head in a book. Despite owning a kindle, I still prefer the printed word and the act of physically turning pages rather than swiping a finger.
Here’s a glimpse of some of my favorite books currently sitting on my shelves: a copy of Pride and Prejudice that was printed upside down, 2 of 3 books from a 1960s collection of Shakespeare’s works (his comedies are missing), Bram Stoker’s Dracula with the author’s name misprinted on the spine, and a limited edition print of Wuthering Heights with a beautiful hand-cut paper cover (1 out of only 5,000 made).
My books have traveled with me from my childhood home, to college, back to my childhood home, to my first apartment in Arlington, VA, and finally to my second apartment in Durham, NC.
My classic novels in particular are essentially timestamps – picked up on trips or gifted by loved ones. Wuthering Heights was a Christmas present two years ago from my parents. Pride and Prejudice was found during a weekend visit with a good friend. My leatherbound copy of David Copperfield was bought during a slightly spontaneous weekend trip to Asheville.
(Author Note: The Battery Park Book Exchange is my definition of heaven-on-earth and is located in the heart of downtown Asheville in case you want to add it to your bucket list!)
Books are my form of self-care. There’s a sense of tranquility during my monthly excursion to my favorite bookseller while I ignore my phone while browsing the shelves. I also get a real sense of excitement each time I get to explore a new book shop. What am I heading home with today? An early edition of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby? Maybe another unique edition of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women?
Book hunting for me is all about little joys and memory-making. So, what do you do to fuel yourself?
- Heading to college? Don’t be afraid to pack those keepsakes that bring a smile to your face. Little comforts are so important to ground you in tough times.
- Traveling? Always, always, always avoid the big-name chains. You’ll never know what places you’ll come across.
- Have a unique hobby? Keep at it! If it gives you a moment of peace or sense of adventure, it is worth it.