I’m pretty sure there is something about the atmosphere in a bookstore that automatically reduces stress by at least .o5% So I make it a point of going to the BYU-I bookstore every once in a while. I make it a point of going through the MC in general, because sometimes when students set up tables to advertise something, they’ll attach candy to their pamphlets or something. Once when I went to take a test in the MC, I was offered a free cup of hot chocolate if I listened to them talk about The Scroll being online or something. I am always willing to listen to a  sales pitch if I get free hot chocolate. Since that day, I make it a point of going through the MC, and then sometimes on through the bookstore.

The trick is never to bring money with you into the bookstore, unless you’re there for the sole purpose of buying textbooks. This year, most of my ‘textbooks’ were for my Young Adult Literature class. And most of those YA novels I can just get on Amazon with the gift card I got for Christmas. In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing to try to save some money. Not much, but I like to think little things add up. Maybe I’ll even buy my Mom a birthday present, which I usually don’t, but this time I have a tentative idea.

Bookstores have a different feel from libraries. The books are all polished and new, and belong to nobody. Maybe there’s something in the human psyche that makes an object all the more desirable because of that. Unfortunately, there’s also the fact that you have to pay money before you can have it. And I hate spending money, I really do. Even gift cards, I hesitate before my purchases. Oh well.

Sometimes it’s nice just to browse. Just to see what kind of books and music they have. Like once I saw they had Piano Guy’s music. And Disney Music. Or a book of art by Boyd K. Packer (did you know he was a talented artist?). I don’t see that one in the store now. In fact, I can’t find their art books. The section is labeled “Art/Parenting” and all it has are parenting books. Sad, really. I liked the art books. Except for the one about colored pencils. I kept looking at the art and thinking that I liked the way I did it better.

Bookstores are wonderful places. Perfect for those times in between classes. And it was good to go to one today. I’m in a very quiet mood right now. I was so tired this morning. I tried to take a nap when I got back from class. I was so close. I couldn’t keep my eyes open as I tried to read Huckleberry Finn. I have never read that before. But all I managed was to be comfortable and warm and have my eyes closed for a long time. Before I had to get up and do more homework.

Huck Finn seems a fairly good book to me. I get skeptical of books sometimes. I really enjoy literature in general. But sometimes books considered ‘classics,’ or ‘literary’ deter me. So I get cautious. Especially since I recall that Huck Finn has been on and off the banned books list. Now that I read it, it all seems silly to have wondered about it. It’s just an ordinary kids book. I could have read it years ago. It and Tom Sawyer. I haven’t read Tom Sawyer myself, but I recall a teacher reading it aloud to me. I can’t even remember what grade. Before sixth, that’s for sure. I’m thinking fifth.

Yes, I am rambling a little bit. I do that when I’m tired. It’s just so… relaxing to write. To reflect on these little bits of wisdom you collect over the years, like the stress-relieving capacities of bookstores and… classic literature that’s actually worth reading (because I rather suspect that not all of it is worth reading for me). Do you know, I think it is because I journal that I feel I have learned so much over the years. It makes you stop and reflect, you know. I am a big advocate of reflecting. Makes life seem… fuller than it was when you were living in it at the time. Sometimes, anyway.

It’s an interesting dynamic, isn’t it? Like when you realize you had more to say about a friend visiting you than you had to say about Christmas Day. I believe I said that I got two gift cards, Brave, and a game called The Fool and His Money (which I haven’t had much time to play lately). But when a friend visits, or when I read a good book… then I write a lot. It is interesting, as I said. And I will also say that this has got to be one of the more worthy hobbies I have found.

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