Hundreds of Stories at Every Turn.

Yesterday was my last day at my old job. Tomorrow starts my first day at my new job. And there’s there’s today, right in the middle, my only free day this week, which my boyfriend and I decided to take full advantage of with an adventure. A coworker got me a restaurant gift card he insisted he owed me because I always took up his shifts when he needed them covered, so there was a nice fancy lunch and, because we were in the area, there was a trip to Half-Price Books and Disc Replay.

I adore both these places, HPB especially because there’s always great finds super cheap (today, I indulged with three $1 clearance books: an old copy of Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street, a book of Nelson Algren travel essays, and a biography of St. Francis of Assissi). But the thing that I love the most about these places (and it’s the same feeling I get whenever I’m in a library or a museum) is that I am completely, utterly, totally surrounded by stories. All kinds of stories, some of them bad, some of them amazing, all of them from the brain of a person who had the courage to put them into words or onto a canvas or into a film or video game.

When I leave a place like that, I feel electric with my own ideas.  Usually, it’s almost too much to handle, so I can’t always channel it into an actual project, but it’s still there, driving me forward, inspired to not only enjoy the stories already there, but also to create stories of my own. I know some writers feel a little overwhelmed in a different way in a bookstore, that they can only think of the fact that all these books exist and they’re just cast out in the wilderness, but I prefer to think ahead, and, while my books aren’t there yet, they will be, some day.

Now, if I could just stop babbling about how inspired I am, and actually get to work making that inspiration a reality.

Also, the gift card was for a certain “fancy-ass Chinese gourmet restaurant,” and, while it was good, it wasn’t really that great. Kind of disappointed, but I drank a whole pot of delicious oolong tea, so I ain’t even mad.


  1. I love Half-Price Books; I’ve spent $300.00 in there at one time and had to make two trips to load the truck. Unfortunately, the nearest one is 150 mi. away. I guess that’s why I splurged. I could live there, on books and coffee.

    • If you’re dropping three hundy on your visits, it’s probably a good thing that it’s so far away! I have a location that’s close to where I work but far from my home, and just enough out of the way that it isn’t too much of a temptation. It’s when we hit up another location on the way to my boyfriend’s parents’ house that I get into trouble.

      Does your location have a coffee bar? If so…oh, man. I’d be in trouble then. All mine have are little self-serve coffee pots with styrofoam cups…

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