There’s something holy in being surrounded by amazing books. You can feel the overwhelming, mighty power of their magic flowing out from the covers, down the shelves, woven in the air, softly touching you and then gently pouring into your heart, even before your actual reading them. Just by standing there, among them, you feel whole and empty at the same time, eager for more literary food to be fed to your hungry mind. That’s what I felt when I was in Kinokuniya, both in Singapore and in KL, that’s how I got blessed in cosy basements of old bookstores at Charing Cross, in the heart of London, that’s how I was seduced in FNAC’s book section at Les Halles. I felt warm, welcomed, and home.
The smells of the paper, old and new, the razor blade sharp edges of freshly published books, the little pieces of art works on the covers, the pocket size of vintage books making them so dear and intimate and the frame of astronomical ones as grand as possible to feature most beautifully the heavenly wonders of the Cosmos, the colourful whimsy illustrations in children books with cuteness overloaded. I have a deep crush on books, always did and always will.
Great bookstores to me are like Tiffany & Co. to Miss Golightly, nothing bad can ever happen there where they house such little precious treasures waiting to be found, understood, loved and remembered. And once in a while, so fate has decided, there are chances to meet beautiful people in a bookstore. On one occasion like that in the latest visit to my ‘mecca’, I stumbled upon a young guy who loves books as much as I do, and surprisingly, I found myself unexpectedly bubbly chirping about my greatest source of joy, bursting with a strong desire to share and connect. It’s the very moment that I realised maybe this is the purpose of books, to be the medium of sharing and connecting between authors and their readers, among the readers, passing down from generations to generations, to understand and nurture our souls.