After a weekend work retreat and recovering from the worse virus I’ve ever experienced, what better way to relax than the enchanting You’ve Got Mail! The film starts out at the beginning of fall in New York City where two unknowing book shop owners meet through a chatroom (yes this is from the 90s). As my school starts back up again today, I can’t help but wish for the crunchy leaves and slowly walking through the trails whilst reading a classic – most likely Pride and Prejudice (a book frequently mentioned in the film 🙂 ). Every season in the city is represented as Kathleen and Joe battle it out over their bookstores. Being so close to Cincinnati, I have a favorite small bookstore that I frequent on my days off – not the same charm as The Shop Around the Corner – although I am a loyal patron. My goal in life is to be a regular as well as attend their unique events and book chapter readings/signings.
Every bit of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ characters are a reminder of why I’ve fallen in love with books. The two different atmospheres of a chain and an independent small store, the passion for reading and wanting to share that love and knowledge, just everything. They do both go to a ‘book business’ soiree – I feel that for me, being in the book business (even though it technically is) isn’t what I would want to say if that was my job (dream job, duh!). I feel as if that makes it seem impersonal and not having the heart in the right spot – even though that is not true for every bookstore owner/employee. In college I remember applying to a chain bookstore and filling out the application, I felt euphoric! Like I was signing up for a cause! Unfortunately, I did not have any customer service/retail-type job experience so I never got a phone call :(. C’est la vie. The library in my town is moving to a larger, newer building space which looks absolutely beautiful – maybe that can be my push to get to working with books. I can start with volunteering their first and see where it goes, I do miss meeting with the consistent patrons every Monday back in my alma mater’s town.
Despite it being dated, there are similar struggles in modern day book ‘businesses’, more noticeably in formats. I am not against receiving/reading e-books or PDFs. I would like to think I am an environmentalist, though when it comes to books, paperback/hardback cannot be beat. I have been writing letters once a month to my closest classmates in graduate school and the anticipation of receiving their letters back and having a physical letter to hold on to is more than enough. The same thing when I order books from Amazon or receive ARC’s and open my mailbox to small parcels awaiting me to dive right in. You’ve got mail, whelp in a different sense of the phrase :).
“You are what you read”