Barnes and Noble: bookstore or life metaphor?

Georgie Hunt

I have decided that the world, socially speaking, is a great deal like Barnes & Noble. You may be thinking that I%ve totally gone off my rocker, and speaking of bookstores, I should go grab myself a copy of the latest and greatest self-help on the shelf. But don%t call me crazy yetjust hear me out.

I am a lover of books; they are key to my survival, just as human interaction is a necessity for all people. Though I adore reading and I go to Barnes & Noble often, for me there is nothing more frustrating than perusing through that overstocked store.

When I walk into B&N, the first thing I do is quickly glance at the table of recent bestsellers, which the employees of the establishment have been trained to strategically place directly in front of customers as they walk through the entrance of the store in effort to entice them to accept what is new and what is lately deemed exceptional by the modern masses. I do not spend much time at this table, for I am often eager to giddily skip to the Classics section. In this place of comfort, I am sure to find my friends Jane and Charles and Henry James, Charlotte and Emily, too.

These folks are dependable; they are never without something substantial to tell me, and what%s more, their friendship is of the quality that lasts forever. They are my old friends, and though they are dear to my heart, no one can blame me for wanting to make new acquaintances.

My frustration with Barnes & Noble arises from my knowing that there are hundreds of books, numbers of authors I would love if only I could find them all. There are so many sections, so many different special interestsHistory, Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, Religion, Mysteryhow is a girl to choose?

Isn%t this the same with people? There are billions of peopleinnumerable different types on high shelves and low shelves, tucked behind others, hidden in places we cannot see and places we probably would not go to look anyway. Where should we begin?

How are we to know where to find the keepers, the pages and the people who will touch our souls, make us laugh and cry and help to define and shape our own experiences?

Where are the ones so special we cannot help but take them with us everywhere we go?

This is a dilemma, and there is only one logical solution. We must read them allmeet them all, or at least as many as we can. This is the only way I can think of to find out what is on the inside, for you know we should never judge a book by its cover.

We are all going to read words that will enrage us. I know there will most likely be some books so offensive that I will be compelled to throw them in the trash, so disgusted am I with their substance (or lack there of).

I am aware that it would be unethical for me to throw people in the trash, so remember I%m only making a metaphor.

We will meet all kinds of people, some not for us but others wonderful, and if we get frustrated with our searching, we can just take a coffee break. Why do you think there is a Starbucks in most Barnes & Noble and one on every corner, too?

Next time you%re at the bookstore, ask someone cute what they thought about a random book on any accidental shelf. It may turn out to be an accident, but then again, maybe not.

As for me, you can be sure I will be asking a tall young man if he can reach the hardcover on the top shelf for me who knows, it may turn out to have a happy ending.