Every time I'm in a bookstore, I find myself looking for a restroom within a span of just a few minutes. I have no idea why.
Maybe it's the smell of large amounts of paper that rapidly induces bowel movements. Maybe the idea of buying new books excites me so much that my belly needs to make room for butterflies. Another reason might be that my mind feels so relaxed among thousands of books, that some of my sphincters want to relax with me. It might also be that certain authors and subjects have a laxative effect on me. (Though I always take care not to come near any titles of Oprah's Book Club.)
Whatever the reason, it is quite annoying. And I've noticed that the problem is proportional to the size of the bookstore. I don't really mind the smaller news stores that have just a minor selection of best sellers, and no facilities. These stores take me just a few minutes to walk around and be bored, long before the need arises to resort to self-induced constipation. But the big retailers are a different matter. Just a couple of steps in a mega-store and I'm taking the stairs five steps a stride, sweat running down my face, desperately looking for a blue picture with a little white man in it. I remember this happening to me some time ago, in San Francisco, where I went to a Borders bookstore three times in one week. It gave me three opportunities to set a new personal record for flying down the escalators.
Is there a moral to this story? Of course!
Know Yourself and Think Before You Act
Today I went to Donner, in Rotterdam, just 10 minutes before closing time. It's a nice place to look for interesting books. It's also one of Europe's biggest bookstores. I should have known that I would spend most of that time in their smallest section. The one with the paper sheets in a roll instead of a cover.
So, people around the world… Know yourself and act accordingly…
I hope this post is helpful to you, in some way or another. It's certainly a relief to me!