“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” 
― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” – Louis L’Amour

Each of the quotes above can be very relatable, especially to avid readers. Books can take us anywhere we want, be it real or fictional. Across continents, into outer space or a parallel universe; send us back to the past or into the future, the possibilities are endless. Here at Bookmans, we come across many paths that our customers and coworkers alike have journeyed through books. Almost magically, we’re compelled to share our journey with one another.

From the little children buying Berenstain Bears and Goosebumps books with their $10 Bookmans gift cards to the older generations coming up to the registers with baskets full of Louis L’Amour and Lee Child novels, there so many journeys traveled through books. And since we are a used bookstore, the journeys make a full circle when they brought back by returning customers for store trade. Let us take you on one exampled path of our avid readers.

Picture a mother tucking her child into bed after a long day. She picks up a book filled with a variety of fairy tales. As the child closes their eyes, they begin to dream of castles, knights and dragons, daring battles, and talking animals in the forest. When the child begins to learn how to read on their own, they stick to the stories about talking animals and fairy tales. Later, that progresses to other forms of work, maybe literary classics like The Lord of the Rings or Gulliver’s Travels.

As kids grow, they get a lot of flack about reading. “Why are you always reading?” “You should read a book instead of playing video games.” “Where’s all that reading going to get you in life?” “If you don’t read the right books you’ll never learn the right things.”

For a young teen, reading can be an escape. They read Shakespeare in the morning as they water plants before the heat sets in. They read a new dystopian novel as they wait at the laundromat for the clothing to be dried. They learn about the ancient gods of other cultures as they sit in a doctor’s office. Once reading becomes a habit, it sticks. Soon, after reading so many books, classic and modern, a teen may add a notebook to their pile of books. There’s nothing more inspiring than a good book to make you want to write your own story.

As they enter college, reading can become an exploration of new thoughts and ideas. Books can become the path that inspires them to pursue the interests that will define them in their lives. They may be obsessed with writing and reading an opted to earn a degree in literature. Maybe they are studying ways to make a career in their beloved topic.

Should a day come when some remarks that reading will get you nowhere, they can say “Books have made me intelligent. They have encouraged me to become the person I am today. Reading keeps me sharp. Because of reading, I have become smarter. Because of writing, I have made a living. I have traveled to many worlds, to the past and the future. I have gained friends and I have lost them, but they are still part of me as I progress in life.”

Books can shape a person’s life. No matter where your interests lie, there’s a book that speaks to it. Then there are events from the past that can make someone obsessed with that type of literature, be they crime novels, historical battles, histories of monarchies, or even specific countries and their histories.

We all have a story to tell because of the journeys we have experienced through reading. That’s a truth if you’ve only read only one book or if you’ve read a thousand. Tell us what your favorite journey through books has been. We’re listening and we seriously want to talk to you about our own too! Stop at any of our stores and re-experience those journeys as you travel down our aisles of shelves. A million worlds and stories await you at Bookmans.

Written by Sky. D, customer service extraordinaire at Bookmans Mesa