My Most Recent Love/Hate

Today I went into Hastings for the second time in a week in an attempt to spend a gift card. The first time I went in this month, I felt like I was drowning in the Death Star trash compactor and had to leave within fifteen minutes. It’s been years since I went to Hastings. I never realized how many things are in there. Like movies, books, magazines, food, coffee, children’s books, trinkets, bobbleheads, keychains, games, video games, etc. I should not be surprised, as the general trend leans less towards bookstores and more towards nerdy crap stores, but it caught me waaaay off guard. 
Truth be told, I hate bookstores. The fact that I have to swim through so much junk to get to real, tangible literature just reaffirms my hatred. 
I always go into them with one thing in mind. I always walk out of them with at least two bags, feeling like I signed away my soul. I’ve got a real problem — I spend a disproportionate amount of my money on books. Part of me realized this when I looked at my bookshelf and found out that I had accidentally bought multiple copies of at least three books I own without realizing it. If that’s not enough, I officially have read a pittance of a 1/3rd of all of the books I own. ONE THIRD.
Hello. My name is Arianna, and I am addicted to book-buying. 
Every time I walk into a store, I say to myself, “This time it will be different. This time everything will be okay.” Well, it’s never okay. Even today, when I *cue drumroll* only walked out with ONE BOOK (IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE), I still had a miserable trip. I found myself browsing through keychains and historical fiction books and self-help books. 
Cue typical self-talk: You need a self-help book, Ari. Look! This one’s about being an entrepreneur. You’ll need that one day when the Apocalypse wipes out the free market. Oh! Look! A bound copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy. You legitimately NEED that. I don’t care if you hated Inferno. BUY IT. Oh! Oh! Abraham Lincoln’s biography! If you walk out of the store without that, you are a traitor to your kind. I will never speak to you again and your personal collection at home will burst into metaphysical flames. FLAMES, I TELL YOU.
If you ignore the self-talk, you get pounded with a “look at how many books there are in the world that you want to read but will never read because you’re cheap” headache. If you don’t ignore it, you spend more money than you wanted and get a “look what you’ve done, you idiot, there goes your paycheck” headache. IT’S A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION. To make things worse, bookstores are like what I imagine bars are like. Yeah, you can walk into one and possibly find a Han Solo or an old Jedi friend lounging at a table, but chances are more likely that you’re going to run into a bunch of slime-covered, incisor baring, death stick selling Greedos with a penchant for murdering people in cold blood without batting an eye and dancing on tables in chains.

Shudder.

Bookstores are slime-filled cesspools that always smell like coffee and mold. I hate them, but oh, I love them so much. Which is why I hate them even more. 

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