Yes! Happy birthday Traveling Book Club. Today is the very first anniversary of my blog and I’m absolutely thrill about it!
It’s being an amazing year, learning about blogging, sharing experiences, embracing my dear books, thinking about new topics and finding ways to make my blog a pleasant place to go.
I’ve learned about how important is the way the blog looks, I’ve enjoyed chosing the photos that go with each one of the posts, I’ve even entered the social media adventure, taking The Traveling Book Club to a new step, although, I’m still pretty new on this. Through the good times and the bad times, I’ve managed to remain commited to posting regularly all this year after a rough start during the first months. Thanks to that I’ve happily seen how my blog keeps growing, how the ideas keep on flowing in my head, and how I get anxious for the day of the week on which I’ll be able to post my next comment.
For all of this reasons, today’s a celebration day!
It was my last day in Honolulu. I had being traveling all around the Hawaiian island, at least as much as I could, but there was a place I hadn’t been yet: the big Borders store at the Victoria Ward Centre.
It wasn’t on my way, but I took the bus anyway to go there. I had seen the store the very first day I arrived to the island. Ever since, I knew I had to stop by, as I used to do it in any place I was visiting. The bookstore tour is a must always in my to-do list whenever I’m planning a trip.
So, I took the bus and after a while I got there. I walked a little bit to find the entrance to the store, but once I managed to get there… it was really hard for me to go out.
I wander around the aisles to get familiar with the distribution of the shelves and to locate the areas I was more interested in and to shop a few books. Then, I stopped by the Seattle coffee and had was I’ve loved: a hazelnut latte. Absolutely yummy.
I took my coffee outside to enjoy the beautiful views from the terrace. The weather was magnificent, as it was expected, and right in front of the place, across the avenue, it was the ocean! What else could I asked for, I loved bookstore which I had visited frequently for over a decade in different places, my first bunch of book just acquired, a delicious latte, and me enjoying the view. I was truly satisfied.
After some time outside, I went back to the store. Then the book-attack started again. I totally got lost in the Hawaiian section, and did, as usually lots of walking around the fiction area. The end of the tour was in the music section.
During one of the day tours I had taken, the guide played on the bus for us a cd of Hawaiian music. I liked it a lot but I never had the chance to ask him what it was its title or who were the performers. So I told the clerk: I’m looking for a cd of Hawaiian music that sound a little bit like those chorus presented by Perry Como… Ok, I know it wasn’t the most precise description, and of course I was expecting the guy to give me a weird look… but he didn’t! He took some time and picked up a bunch of cd that might fill my sort of description, and let me listen to them. it worked like magic!
In the end.. I left the place carrying a heavy load of books, a cd of Hawaiian music, a big smile and a happy spirit.
Through the years, I’ve collected several happy stories like this coming from the huge amount of time I spend in bookstores. Many of them are related to Borders, but this one, in Hawaii is the most special one, and that’s why, it’s the one I chose to share with everybody, now that it’s being announced that this charming bookstore it’s going out of business.
There’s no doubt that it’s gonna leave a huge sense of emptiness next time I stop by one of the places a Borders store used to be. But from now on I’ll always treasure the fine memories I’ve collected in so many cities where the stop at Borders was a part of my trip. For now, it’s only left to say Aloha Borders, mahalo for the good times.
After reading the question “Can a camera truly capture a moment in time?, I took a moment to go through some of the photos I’ve taken in different places and times.
Looking at all those landscapes, dear friends, and places that have become dear to me, I started to realize that all these collections of photos that we take throughout the yearw become at some point the book of our lives, like a living memoir that keeps on growing as time passes by.
As we add more and more images to these pages, this book full of stories written with no words, keeps experiences and moments frozen in time, guarding them, and sheltering among all those fun or sad chapters in our lives that have impacted us in such a way that have made us feel like capturing those precise moments in a photograph to remember them by, as only books (or a travel machines) can do it.
After reading some books such as Amador and The Questions of life, by the Spanish writer Fernando Savater, in which current issues and everyday situations are analyzed from the point of view of different philosophers, it came as a fun surprise to read The Brotherhood of Good Luck (La hermandad de la buena suerte), a relaxing novel in which the main character, an Irish jockey is kidnapped.
Throughout the story, the jockey is missing, this situation makes the other characters, a group of peculiar people involved with the Brotherhood of the Good Luck, do the unimaginable in order to find him, as he’s the only one capable of wining the most important race in town.
Each chapter of the story takes a special turn as it’s told by each one of the characters, what makes the reader get to know them more closely, because at the same time that they talk about the current situation and their efforts to find the jockey, they reveal little pieces of their past, their worries and their hopes and dreams.
The story advances in a relaxing pace keeping the interest of the readers as their curiosity arise with all the little details that are uncovered by the author chapter after chapter.
When the story gets to the end, the taste is that this book was written by Savater with a lot of knowledge about horse races, and mainly with lots of enjoyment.
Some time ago, while reading the newspaper a story caught my attention. It started with a little baby living at a street market by the Seine River. His days passed surranded by all kind of death fish parts that were disposed by the merchants while selling the rest of the fish to the costumers.
As the year pass by, the baby grows up in not much better conditions and those first days of his life at the market marked his life forever.
Then the first installment of the story published in the newspaper got to the end. However, the way it was written made me go straight to the bookstore to get this book called The Perfum.
It didn’t take long for me to go through the whole novel written by Patrick Süskind. It was just one of those books that you can’t put down, no matter how rough the story becomes.
So, as the time passes in the story, the main character, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, notices that his sense of smell allows him to differenciate all the scents that are around him, even the most subtle ones.
Then he starts mixing those scents to create new ones or to recreate some others, until this becomes an obsession.
Once he’s becomes a young man he gets strongly attracted to discover all the singularities that come from the smell of the women he meets.
And then, he becomes a murderer.
This is the time when his life turns into a spiral of compulsion and violence that only ends with his own sacrifice.
When I got to this point, I was feeling totally and completely sick. Even more because I read the last 250 pages in one go, before going to sleep, what clearly I couldn’t do after finishing the book.
Although the experience wasn’t a pretty one for me, specially at the end, the way the author managed to present every single part of the story as if it was something real, is something I’ve always admired.
I don’t really think I’ll be able to read again this book, however, I’m always going to remeber the way words were used here to create all those images in such a clear and vivid way.