It happened to me in Brussels, Belgium. I was lost (as usual) trying to find the train station to go up to The Netherlands when I pump with the feet of this man. He was sitting at a door step reading The unbearable lightness of being, by Milan Kundera. The story of Theresa and Thomas and how she feels special when walking with a book under her arm. I felt this urge to let him know how much I love that book, how I do feel protected when walking with a book as well.
And I did because I should be shyer when I travel. It was a short but nice conversation, otherwise I would have missed my train and it was not one of those Before sunrise moments.
I don’t really like the most popular books. I did got like on ecstasies when I found The cuckoo’s calling in a bookshop in Vietnam, but most of the times, I like what most people don’t read. So, when this man on a bus to Colonia told me he knew Kapuscinski, I had that feeling again: we are old friends!
It happened as well, and this is not a happy story, that I went to Trieste, hometown of one of my favorites, Claudio Magris. And I even took with me the book on my travel bag everytime I leave home, Danube. I walked under the rain for no less than half an hour, dragging with me my traveling companion, to that bar where Magris used to go for coffee and writing. Only to find the place was closed.
My friend Samantha told me she doesn’t like to buy books. She likes the smell of old books so she always goes to the library. I love to buy books. I hardly find anything else interesting enough to spend my money on (shoes and purses don’t count) than books. And that is why I thought they deserved a special place in my blog: here and now.