Tonight my flatmate and I are racing to Borders on Oxford Street. I am writing this on the tube (uploading it later, of course) invigorated by the fact that I can flip out and tap voraciously on my macbook. It was a geeky conversation that began the race. And the loser is a rotten egg. It’s on!
Arrived at Borders. Via Tottenham Court Road. Had one of those experiences that challenge your sense of place in the world when I could not find the damn shop. I had been to it several times, I had noted the landmarks. And yet, when it most mattered, when sheer pride and the threat of being a rotten egg was at stake, I couldn’t find it. A swift phone call and admission of defeat later I was in my chain crack den.
Book stores are a dangerous playground. A small hoard gathered in the crook of your arm can amount to a large fortune. I justify each purchase: a gift, a need for personal development, the cover’s kinda cool.
In the wonderful journey of other-self discovery between the shelves I pause awhile at the Self-Help section. I love this section because the back page synopses offer glimpses of a world so much more hopeless than my own. I read “How to have it all without risking it all”, I peruse “How do you date me?”, I ponder “Be your own life coach”, and with every one I am encouraged by how little I feel the need to read on. I enjoy taking a little time out for self-help because it reminds me I’m doing ok. Not great. But ok.
Unfortunately this late at night there are no equivalent independent bookshops that I know of. If anyone does then please tell me. I have challenged long-held friendships with my commitment to the cause of the independent…