“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get the people to stop reading them.”
Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451
This months shopping trip involves books. Old ones at that. I just love old books, even the smell of them. Like a fragrance from back in time.
Shopping for actual books seems to be harder to do now days. Everything is online. I will always love the experience of walking into a bookstore and picking up a book with my hands, turning each page, anticipating the surprises those pages will show me.But doesn’t it seem like book stores are on the endangered species list?
I remember back in the 90’s how they were everywhere. I mean everywhere. And now they seem to only be in the posh areas. I am not British but my husband has some family that live over in England and I love their accents and slang words when they visit. Posh is such a fun word to use.
American English and British are a whole different way of speaking.That summer in Italy I learned a lot of new words and not just English slang either. Lorry was a truck and the Loo was a bathroom . Oh and potato chips were crisps and chips were french fries. One time while heading outside at night at the aunt’s villa I was told to grab a torch on the way out.
Uh oh, here we go again. I was trying so hard not to look so lost around my husband’s family. I felt like I was in another world when around them. I started missing my home country.
Did she mean a torch, like a stick lit on fire, was she serious? Europe was so strange I thought to myself.
It was my husband who rescued me during awkward moments of language mix ups. He turned to me and gave me the sweetest look while I stood staring back at everyone like a lost little bird and with the tiniest smile, so as not to make me feel uncomfortable he explained what a torch was.
That was a funny summer. I was only 19 or 20 years old so I was still pretty young to the world. My husband was only a year older then me but he knew Italy, it was where his mom was from, his father was American and a pilot in the military. My husband’s first language was Italian, he spoke that before English.
My first trip to Europe with my husband will always be the one we both talk about the most. I was so new to everything even the bathroom situations over there.At a rest stop visit on our way to Lake Como, I would have another life lesson on the differences around the world. When I came out of the rest stop’s bathroom I was white. Turning to my husband I told him that the bathroom he sent me to wasn’t even finished yet.
I was too American, I had gotten used to my countries conveniences a little too much. This is why all young adults should travel to other countries. Doing so connects them to other young adults and keeps us all humble and grounded.
“Why, whats wrong with that bathroom?” my husband asked.
“Well, it’s a hole with feet marks on the side, just a big hole…no toilet” I answered back
He just bent over laughing and laughing.
“Oh and there is a lady in the corner with a dish and coins in it, am I suppose to pay her something and what coin does she want?” I was so confused with it all. I had never traveled outside the country before. In our bathrooms in America there are never places to leave tips for the ones who clean them. Maybe that’s something we should work on.
Once we got to Lake Como it was another lesson on just how American I was when I saw that most of the women were topless on the beach. Turning to my husband I whispered “Is this a nudist beach?”
“No…this is beautiful Italy” he whispered back holding back another giant laugh. Meanwhile his uncle was standing near a beautiful topless girl acting like he was busy checking out his shoes beneath those really dark sunglasses of his.
“WHAT!…wait…what do you mean this is Italy”I looked around at topless girls all around me hoping that my husband’s female family members did not also go topless to the beaches. When in Rome as they say.
My husband just shook his head and turning back to look at me laughing again said “This is going to be one of my favorite trips, I can already tell” and he was right.
If you ever want to have some extra fun take along someone to travel with you, who has never been on a plane, has never eaten foreign foods before and the closes thing they ever took as a vacation was when their father hooked up a tiny trailer to the back of his baby blue truck to take to a lake and camp at. Oh and Disneyland and the beach.
Yeah, if you guys want some real entertainment, take someone like that with you and you will discover and see things through their eyes all over again, having the time of your life laughing together.
The both of us had so much fun at my discoveries of walking on cobble stone streets, eating rose petal Gelato in the rain, real Italian pizzas, and these little annoying cars that had three wheels that you could pile a whole house on the top of . That is if you were really good at tying things down.
I love the passion the Italian people have for life, like everyday should be treated as a gift and to live it well. That really gave me knowledge to what was and is important in life. So much love and just the celebration of life in them all.
I left that country a different person when I finally got back to my home in America. I wish every young adult could travel the world at least once in their life, they will gain a confidence and understanding that we are all… the same human being.
Another thing I learned while in a foreign country was what my father must have felt like to have gone through life never being able to read.
When I stepped off that plane trip to Italy to meet my husband.s family I remember looking around at all the signs and store ads and a fear struck me. I did not know what anything said. Picking up a magazine at a stand, my eyes really huge with fear, my husband asked me what was wrong and I answered back “ I don’t know what this says”.
He probably thought that my fear came from my ignorance of not being able to read the Italian language but that wasn’t it at all. It was the knowledge of how my father must have felt when he couldn’t read something. It was then that I finally felt what it was like for my father and my heart just sank for him.
All those wonderful adventures and stories to read and he was never able to do that his whole life.
I have an appreciation of books even more after that first visit to Europe.There were the occasional British magazines in some of the tourist spots but the little towns didn’t have any English language books or magazines.
I was starving for a book at the end of that trip. After that, I would travel to Italy 5 more times to visit family. And Yes, I brought a suitcase full of reading material for those trips. It was heavy but I did not care. I need my adventures and reading takes you away to those places of unknown. No way was I going a whole month without a good story.
I am sure a lot has changed since then and with online shopping you can get just about anything anywhere now.
You learn to really love the things you loose. Now when I pick up a book I think how wonderful it is to be able to get lost in that story it has to tell. I turn the pages and start reading away. Who doesn’t look forward to a good book now and then.
So today I thought it would be fun to share with you all a couple places my family likes to pick up books to read. Once in awhile my husband and I will make a book run either to the huge city library down town or to the many used book stores and second hand shops in our city. Hope you all have fun coming along with us on this shopping adventure.
First stop is a used/new bookstore where you can take in gently used items of yours to trade for books or other items in the store.
The Nikon camera I use for this blog site was a trade from the store. The camera didn’t cost us any out of pocket money. We just took our clutter and turned it into a camera that year.
I could spend hours in this store.
Another place is any thrift store.
The prices at second hand shops always shock me when it comes to books. Some of these books look like they have never been opened and read.
I saw this book at Ikea last month for $6 or was it $7…now I can’t remember. I ended up buying this for $1.49.
This is nice, but I already have enough home books. I am such a homebody. I rather stay home watching an old classic movie, working on art, or hanging out in the garden swimming.
Another good place to shop for books is the library. There is usually a little corner tucked away somewhere where people drop off donations or the library marks down their damaged and used books to sale.
They have a little metal box to drop your money into.Everything is pretty cheap.
Then there is the main library down town. It has five stories. It ‘s one of my favorite places to visit. I will have to do a more detailed post on that one later.
The main library also has a little bookstore on the bottom floor where you can buy new and used items.
They tend to be a little more pricey though. All magazines at our little neighborhood library are .10 cents each. The magazines downtown in the city run from .50 cents to $3. The two libraries are only miles apart. Everything always costs more in the middle of the city.
Then there are these little handmade houses in neighborhoods around our city. This little neighborhood library comes with a chalk board on the side and a mason jar full of chalk.
You drop off books and pick up any you want to read.
It’s a nice way for neighbors to connect with one another by sharing with each other.
And my favorite place to pick up books is at church rummage sales.
The Catholic church has a really nice rummage sale once a year. I love this event (another shopping post to share with you all next month)
They always have a huge selection of vintage books.
Vintage workbooks and coloring books are another one of my favorite things to find.. I used to make copies and pass out vintage coloring and activities pages to the kids who attended my craft classes.
Sometime I will come across a book that has been loved too much. There will be pages missing or someone decided to add their own art to it. With books like that you can always use the left over pages for DIY projects.
Happy vintage book shopping everyone..
For some more posts on books check out these fellow bloggers.
Cristian Mihai-Outdoor reading libraries and bookstores that operate in the open air
This was such a great post to read.
Books on a sandy beach.
In a tiny park in Germany.
And my favorite was the one outdoors in Leiden, South Holland.
Bee humble with me is back online, took a break there for awhile. Anyway, she shares with us all what her summer reading list is this year. She picked some good ones.
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” Dr.Suess