October 25, 2006

It’s like a bluish purple colour

Going to Chapters is like going home. I walk in and I feel comfortable, consoled, happy. Once inside the door I hear the milk steamer and smell the espresso beans at the in house Starbucks, a little farther in I can smell the Chapters smell. It’s pretty consistent across branches, a kind of new book smell mixed in with the high ceiling/escalator ambience.

Considering the many times I go to Chapters (more so in the past year since Indigo was across the street) I rarely buy anything. It’s the experience of wandering around and browsing that I love. It’s the perfect store, containing thousands of books as well as decent CD and DVD sections. Even though I hate shopping I love getting new books and CDs, they are a semi-exception.

This summer when the T dot was making an attempt at the boiling point of lead I would go to Indigo and sit in the corner reading a comic-strip collection book and indulge in the commercial air conditioning. A/C is guilt free if there’s really nothing you can do to turn it off, so when you’re in the store you might as well embrace it fully.

One time my roommate and I actually got ‘dressed-up’ to go on a roommate date to the bookstore one night. We are wild, I tell you. The self-help section is particularly entertaining if you can get Pyweon to read a book or two out loud in her obnoxious narrator’s voice. It’s the place to go when you don’t know what else to do – everybody loves Chapters.

I remember in high school when getting to a Chapters was a major event since my little bity home town did not have one (I think Starbucks was also a factor in this excitement). It’s like the time we had an international quiz team practice in London – all day we wanted to go to Chapters but never had a chance and it was late when we were heading back so Dr and Mrs A didn’t let us go. However, we did have to stop for gas, which was across the highway from a Chapters. A few/all (can’t remember) of the boys (notice how I was the sensible/boring girl) decided to make a run for it while Dr A was at the pump. That initially didn’t go over very well, although running across the highway might have been exhilarating for them. But when Dr A drove over to collect the delinquents he himself got caught up in the awe of Chapters and began browsing through the books. I think Mrs A was the least impressed out of the group.

Perhaps part of the magic of Chapters, at least for girls my age, is that it reminds us of Belle’s library in Beauty and the Beast. We all want that library, don’t deny that it’s only one of the best movies of your lifetime, you know that it is. But yes, it feels like going home in a wonderful mind expanding way, although the Chapters here hasn’t had a copy of Orwell’s 1984 for a few months.


Dinah said...

I just got a little weepy and turned on by Belle's library. I want that, damnit!

But so seconded. I rarely go to the Manulife without at least stopping in, and I don't think I've actually bought anything there all year.

justmeghs said...

ahh, your thoughts are my thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

that first picture hit close to home. stop making it hurt beth. stooooop. *tear i miss uoft too.. (well really just the ppl and hanging out in rez doing randomness) -L.

pyweon said...

"...And then you lean forward making eye contact and loudly repeat thier name...." hehe that book was great. Maybe we should find it again for our shared awkwardness : ) how is that going btw? Also...they let you sit in a corner reading comics over the summer??? maybe the summer staff was more lax than the spring staff...As for the construction (re last post) how could you not love it? as i sit here at my desk there are irritating metal hitting metal sounds and crashings of things falling. like the sound of music really...anyway...come visit! the guest bed frame is broken and thrown off the roof but you're welcome to the mattress on the floor!!!

p.s. i love belle's library too. ALMOST as much as that ladder she swings on in the bookstore.

Tala said...

I <3 Chapters. I derive such strange comfort from it too. Though, I frequently buy things that I really shouldn't, and so I have tons of things to read (always!).

sara said...

Ah, man, if you don't stop writing these nostalgic posts I'm going to collapse into a puddle of emotional goop. First Toronto, now Chapters. It's like you started with non-specific torture and then went straight for the beating heart!

:) haha.

Also, many emotively-representative smileys earned by that 'boiling point of lead' comment...