Sunday, February 05, 2012

Books and relationships


I have a lot of books in my house. They seem to be slowly taking over every single room one pile of books at a time. I have my bookshelves in the garage, I have overflow stacks in the loft. I have books in the living room, I have them piled in the spare bedroom in three different places, I have a towering pile next to the bed. Books are a part of who I am, I will always be surrounded by books, reading books and talking books. They are essential to who I am.

I find it amusing that sometimes N complains about both the number of books in our house and also how spread out the books are. It makes me laugh especially considering how much books and bookstores played such a big part in our early relationship. Now, I'm sure that most of you know by now that N and I met over the Internet. He lived in London, I lived in Oregon. It was a pretty big distance separating us. So when N flew out to visit me, he was taking a pretty big chance. Who knew if this thing between us would end up being anything? It was pretty nerve-wracking actually.



That first day we met, we were kind of at a loss as to what to do, nerves were really kicking in. So N suggested visiting the big (Borders!) bookstore across the street from his hotel. It was a brilliant suggestion. I'd never been into that bookstore and it was MASSIVE. It was a big enough space to wonder around and sneak those sly glances at each other without being entirely obvious. While N isn't a big reader, I do remember him having an interest in Native American legends. And we walked around and different sections of the bookstore would set us off talking about something new and different. And it was enough to really cement my feelings for him!

We'd end up spending a lot of time in Borders over the next few weeks during his visit. It was just a great space to hang out in. They had comfy chairs and a coffee place. We'd gather together a stack of books that looked interesting and some drinks and find a quiet corner somewhere in the back and have a long chat.

We found this section which had books like The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, that were PERFECT for getting to know each other better. I think The Book of Questions is a great icebreaker for broaching topics and starting a discussion. I remember us discussing ghosts and if we'd be bothered if when we died our bodies were thrown into the forest to rot. It was just really wonderful to chat with N who has such different opinions and thoughts to my own. We definitely do not agree on everything, but I wouldn't want us to! It's so much more interesting to have a completely different perspective. To argue and try to get our different points across.

We also had one of my favourite ever 'dates' during this time. We spent so much time together over those few weeks that it probably wouldn't technically be considered a date in the obvious way. But we wandered around the bookstore for ages, browsing as normal. Than we sat in the coffee place and had ham and cheese croissants and played a game of Scrabble together. AWW.

What would you consider the best date ever? Has books ever played a part in any of your early relationships?

18 comments:

  1. Aw this is such a lovely post, it's so nice to see the role books have had in your relationship.

    It's really interesting seeing what you say about being in the bookshop and the cafe, I was amazed when I was in New York at how different the attitude is in America. The whole idea of collecting a pile of books and going to sit with them in the coffee shop part of the store is such an alien concept but one I absolutely fell in love with. I spent more time people watching than I did writing my postcards.

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    1. Thanks :) It was really great having the coffee shop inside the bookstore. We didn't always take the books into the coffee shop, but it wouldn't have been a problem if we had. I was actually really surprised when I moved here and found that most bookstores didn't have comfy chairs :(

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  2. Wow, I loved this post. It sounds like your relationship was just meant to be.

    My hubs complains about books everywhere but in a more teasing way, whenever I'm having a bad day I'm sent to the bookstore with coffee and book pennies.

    Your post really made me smile.

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    1. I'm glad it did :) I wish I could be sent away on a bad day to a bookstore! No proper bookstores nearby :( I really miss that big Borders in Eugene!

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  3. Such a sweet post! Thanks for sharing, Clover! :)

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    1. Thank you! And you're welcome. Last year I had so many personal posts about my relationship with N.. I was afraid I'd already given everything I could already! :)

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  4. Yes I agree with Jules and Jenni, this post was really sweet! :)

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    1. Oh thank you :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Aww! My honey and I have always been connected by books. When we first met (years before we'd ever get together; I was 16 and he was 18 :P), I used to read in the school library on my spares, and he often skipped English class to come hang out with me there.

    Now we've been together for over 5 years, and some of our favourite dates include visits to McNally Robinson and the huge Children's Hospital Book Sale at the mall. :)

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    1. Oh thank you so much for sharing your story as well :) You two sound so sweet. Also bookish dates? The best!

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  6. This is such a lovely post! Thank you. I loved reading it, and that time in the bookstore sounds just perfect.

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    1. You're very welcome! It was fun to revisit my old memories of this time :)

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  7. This is an adorable post! Bookstores and libraries are a bookish girl's best friends, I guess ;)

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    1. Bookstores and libraries are wonderful places, I couldn't agree more! :)

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  8. Great post! Love that you are doing Love Month again!
    Damon use to take me to the bookstore all the time when we were dating.. It was always a special time because the closest bookstore was an hour away from where we lived. So we would always make a day of it and get lunch/dinner and possibly take in a movie. We stil frequent the bookstores, but its not as much of an adventure a it use to be now that the bookstoreis just down the road..

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    1. That sounds lovely! I love that bookstores played a part in your early relationship too :)

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  9. Awww thats so sweet! I rarely get to go in bookshops with my boyfriend as he's it a big reader. It meant a lot to me that he came with me to see Jenifer Donelly though, just so I didn't have to go alone!

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    1. As long as he's supportive of your books and reading habit, which it sounds like he is :) (How did we both end up with non-readers, eh?)

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