I would very much like to tell you a story about my early love for books. How they transported me into other worlds when this one was too much, being my friends, when I had few real ones, how they opened my mind and helped to form the person I am now.
But I can’t.
I wasn’t a reader as a child. Though my mother read a lot when she was younger, I don’t remember books on nightstands or in handbags. In school, I learned quite early that I didn’t need to read the whole book for an OK grade on the test. My desk mate would give me a short version of the book before the test and I had a pretty good ability to bullshit my way through. So oftentimes I got better grades on book reports than she did.
I actually found my way to books thanks to, and hear me out, James Cameron. Yes, the one that made Titanic and Avatar. But somewhere in between those he made a TV show called Dark Angel – the most important piece of entertainment of my teen years. I freakin’ loved Dark Angel. I mean, an independent, black-wearing, motorcycle riding, super pretty, genetically enhanced female protagonist with awesome friends living a badass mutant life. Set to a killer soundtrack! To my great disappointment it was only two seasons … but, three books that followed.
I had to have them, and so purchased my very first English books from the internet and dived in. And they were … well, quite OK. And I actually re-read them recently, almost 20 years after the first read, and I’m not sure if it’s just nostalgia or they are actually pretty decent still.
After that, I found myself a few more books inspired by the visual entertainment I consumed and moved on to some of the books on my mother’s shelf. As she admired Native American culture, Cooper’s Leather-stocking Tales were next in line for me. And a discovery that older books are readable as well. This is how I found my way to Dickens. I absorbed the very many pages of David Copperfield quicker than I had ever done anything before.
And so steadily I built a love for books. For reading them, smelling them, talking about them, finding gems in second-hand stores, arranging them on shelves, and just looking at them when I need something soothing. But also get completely stressed out when I am behind on my reading challenge. I am still not one of the crazy people who read double-digit amounts of books in a month. In 2011, for example, I managed to read a total of one book. In the last 5 or so years, I have averaged about 40-50.
Most of them are pre-loved. I love books that have a history. And I love buying them. So, as the stack of books in my home was ever-growing, the idea of a bookstore grew beside it. So here we are! Books! Mostly second-hand, but some new ones will find their way into the shop as well.
And btw, this is Oola. You will see a lot of her 🙂
But why Books and Cookies you ask? Well, that’s a story for another time.