“In pursuit of magic.” I walked through the neighborhood of SoHo in Manhattan and passed by these four words, delicately spray painted onto a brick wall. Though simple, the phrase was fitting as I wound my way through the charming cobblestone streets, lined by trendy boutiques and cafes. My pursuit was toward a bookstore, McNally Jackson. Indeed it was a magical place.
Old paperbacks, tattered and worn, floated high in the air and the smell of coffee mingled with that of crisp book pages. Walls were papered with pages from famous works of literature. A book printing machine turned its gears and spit out freshly bound publications. A wood sign hung from above. "60120 BOOKS PRINTED HERE," it read.
I found myself spending hours in this bookstore and others around the city. I skimmed memoirs, flipped through the pages of today's most popular novels and got lost between lines of poetry. I picked out quirky greeting cards created by local artists and sat down to write letters to my friends and family.
Surrounded by this peaceful quiet, I felt a sense of comfort. In an era of text messages and tweets, the bookstore offers an escape from the virtual world of technology that we have come to live in. Though Kindles and tablets have made it easy to access a book at the touch of a button, there is just nothing like exploring rows of bookshelves and feeling the pages between your fingers on a quest to find a good read.
Take your time to wander through the bookstore. Find that perfect novel. Sit down with a nice cup of tea and get completely lost in the pages. Sometimes it's these simplest of pleasures that bring the most joy.