Books are your friends
By Brenda Tremblay ~ Posted Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:09am
I missed the bus home yesterday. After considering various options, I hopped the next one, knowing it would only take me halfway. The second, pokey bus dropped me off on a springy bit of green turf outside what was, is, and ever more shall be my favorite used bookstore. Oh, joy! I walked in with a light heart and about seven bucks.
The bronze bell jangled. The bearded owner behind the counter shrugged hello. Late afternoon sunshine flashed on dust motes as I surveyed the banquet spread before me. Sci-fi, mysteries, and contemporary novels hummed on the far walls. I sniffed historical romances and brushed a shelf of Nora Roberts. I greeted John Grisham and Thomas Friedman. I fingered Freakonomics and caressed a glossy volume of perennial shade plants. The Firebrand. Birds of North America. Victims of Hiroshima. My mind reeled, then snapped back into focus. I took a deep breath.
Crouching down near Nora, I discovered three shelves of sheet music. Here was Yanni, slim and barefoot on the beach. Here was Reba McEntire snuggled up with Phil Collins. Here were Bartok sonatas hugging Bach Partitas and, most democratically, embracing The Grandma Moses Songbook and the Greatest Hits of the 90’s.
These music shelves groaned with the audacity of hope. Dozens of instructional books shouted, “Learn to play the piano! Learn the guitar! Learn bass!” I giggled at David Hirschberg’s 1950’s series “Meet the Fun Books” series. Piano Lessons are Fun! Scales and Chords are Fun! Bach is Fun! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Ten minutes later, I rose, hugging a stack of piano collections to my chest. Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, and Massenet.
I bought them all. Except for Yanni, whom I left behind, alone and barefoot on the beach.