The Invisible Pages

You walk into the quaint little bookshop with a smile so big that anyone looking at you might follow you in just to see what you are so euphoric about. Who knows, that might just be what they need to discover the wonderland that gives you so much joy! You open the door; the chimes ring, as the owner welcomes you in, and a cool breeze that carries the fragrance that reminds you of nothing but books whizzes by.  You step in, feeling the warmth of words all around.

For a second there, you are stumped looking at the edifice in front of you… you don’t know where to start. There is a pull from every shelf, every stack, every book. You open the list of ‘to-read’ you always carry with you and make a call on where to start. But soon after you begin browsing, the list finds its original place back in your purse and you get immersed in a world has been part of your heart and soul for as long as you’ve known.

You make sure you spend enough time with every book that catches your fancy.

A beautiful cover art attracts you and you silently bet with yourself that the story would be just as stunning. You blindly pick another book and read the synopsis on the back cover; it engrosses you and now there’s no letting go. A familiar name on the binding crosses your sight and you know you must have it because you’re sure it holds inside words woven so brilliantly that you can’t go wrong by picking it. And then you spot a book that you know is out of your comfort zone; you reach for it still, for you remember the time you’d dared yourself to read something different, something new.

A book with a familiar title sways, calling for you to notice it; you take one look and you know the reason behind the closeness you feel towards it. Perhaps it’s one of those books that comes highly recommended by someone whose preferences match yours. Or maybe it reminds you of a friend; the said friend might be oceans apart, but the memories come rushing with one turn of a page. Perhaps it is something someone dear has been wanting for a long time and you can’t wait to share your discovery. Or maybe it’s the one – it is the book that you’ve been looking for all along, but just didn’t realize it, until now.

Like this, you browse around, isle after isle, and finally walk towards the billing counter carrying a stack of treasure. You pay for it all, as the owner starts a conversation about the books that he’s read from your stack. You smile, thank him, and just as you are about to walk out, you spot something…

In the dusty uppermost shelf, sits a volume of Khalil Gibran’s works. You ask the owner if you can see it. He brings a ladder, gets the book off the shelf, and hands it over to you. You’ve seen this before… you’ve read some poems in it every now and then… you know you own a copy of it. Nonetheless, as you run your fingers through the pages and skim through the table of contents, you know you want this one too. There’s no logic as to why. Why would you want something that you know you already have? Your mind argues with your heart. But, at this price, you know it’s a steal. You could gift it to someone, you tell yourself, and buy this too.

As you walk out, you look back and see all that you’re leaving behind. Just as each book in your hand has a story behind why it was chosen, the ones that were left behind hold a tale of why they didn’t make it today. The choices of tomorrow might be different; they might eventually find a way into your home, but for now, they lie calmly on the shelves that hold them close and give them the love they deserve.

You go home, eager to put your collection in place. As you go through them again, you smile as you recall the reasons why and how these found a way into your heart. You are engulfed by the bond that you’ve already developed, which, now, spreads its roots deeper.

Each one of these books has a story that is printed on its pages, but what about those invisible pages that are bound around? These invisible pages are only yours to read. These invisible pages are written with words that are in your memory. These invisible pages hold a love story that is your own. And every time you come across one of these books in the future, these invisible pages let you read the words that they hold hidden from the rest of the world.

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  1. #1 by Psych Babbler on August 6, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    Beautifully captured experience T! Bookstores are magical places and I love how you have described it. I gather you found a new store? 🙂

    Yes, but unfortunately it closed a few weeks after I discovered it 😦 seeing bookstores going out of business is such a sad feeling 😦

    Like

  2. #2 by ariamccormack7 on August 6, 2012 - 9:56 pm

    This was beautiful.

    thanks!

    Like

  3. #3 by Deboshree on August 6, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    Loved the way you told the tale of the story within the stories. The complete experience of venturing into and spending time in a bookstore…wrapped up in neat words. Wow! 😀

    thank you! 🙂

    Like

  4. #4 by Priya on August 7, 2012 - 1:26 am

    Beautiful T! Loved the imagery in your words.. brings it all alive 🙂
    And, I can so relate to it all. Havent browsed in a bookstore since long.. but I’m almost always overwhelmed by what i see around me when in a bookstore 😀

    thank you, Priya…glad you liked it 🙂

    Like

  5. #5 by Tharani on August 7, 2012 - 5:36 am

    So lovely written T.

    thank you 🙂

    Like

  6. #6 by Avina on August 7, 2012 - 6:49 am

    This is absolutely so amazing, the exact feeling that i go through when I enter the magical kingdom of books in a bookstore 🙂

    🙂 glad you could relate to it

    Like

  7. #7 by The Girl Next Door on August 7, 2012 - 11:09 am

    This is so beautifully written, Titaxy. Being an avid book-lover myself, I can totally relate to every word of your post.

    Invisible pages that hold a story just for you… I never thought of it that way. Beautiful analogy! Thank you so much for opening up a new stream of thought for me. 🙂

    🙂 glad you can relate, TGND! Would love to read about your new stream of thought 🙂

    Like

  8. #8 by kismitoffeebar on August 7, 2012 - 11:12 am

    This is just so real and beautiful ! I found a thrift shop right next to work place that is run by a couple of elderly British ladies. The books are so so enticingly priced, that I end up stacking away my reading shelf at work. I have been long wanting to write about it and I wonder if there would be even a iota of difference in the way I feel. Looking at the books, taking in the smell just makes you glad about life and it’s lovely creations,

    so true…life just becomes all the more beautiful for me when I’m at a bookshop 🙂

    Like

  9. #9 by Swaram on August 7, 2012 - 11:41 am

    Love it 🙂

    thanks!

    Like

  10. #10 by Kragsr on August 7, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    Beautifully written. Are these invisible pages similar to the invisible thoughts that we associate with everything around us ? where each of us carry a different opinion and a different memory of things that only we know / cherish ?

    yes, exactly like that. 🙂

    Like

  11. #11 by pixie on August 7, 2012 - 10:25 pm

    beautiful! 🙂
    there’s an antique bookshop I visit near my Yoga Class and its magical! I can hear the elves whispering there!! 😀
    And spending hours there is always an experience and everytime I find something new to read! And the owner is an old old man and he twinkles when he sees me! I think he has magic in him too!! 🙂

    oh how nice! I would love to spend hours there too 🙂

    Like

  12. #12 by Maddie on August 8, 2012 - 3:04 am

    Very beautiful! Can totally relate :

    thank you!

    Like

  13. #13 by Jas on August 9, 2012 - 4:03 pm

    What I loved about this post was that every word of it was resonating your love for books. That’s exactly how I feel too 🙂

    It’s always nice to meet a fellow book lover 🙂

    Like

  14. #14 by celestialrays on August 18, 2012 - 5:38 am

    Thank you for posting this 🙂
    Loved it! 😀
    Especially the ‘invisible pages’ bit 🙂

    thank you!

    Like

  15. #15 by Matt on August 21, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    On an average how many books do you read in a month?

    well, back in Boston I could easily finish one book (or sometimes two, in case one of them is v gripping that i had to read it in one go) a week. it was easy with me taking public transportation to commute to work…that gave me a lot of time to read. but after moving, it’s become v less 😦 i’ve read v less in the past couple of months…have a lot of catching up to do. 🙂

    Like

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