Hand-holders of the world unite

As anticipated I slept 10 hours last night.
However as I did not hit the sack until 1am, it meant that I did not greet the new day until 11am this morning.

No harm done however – I had absolutely zero plans made for this day of leisure, and considering how grim I have been feeling over the past couple of days I thought that lolling about watching daytime television would be a worthwhile and rewarding endeavour.
And it was for a while – at about 1.30 however I started to feel bored. I am feeling infinitely better than I did yesterday. So good in fact that a venture outdoors was in order.

I decided to go window shopping.

Now I have described previously my utter hatred of shopping and how it causes me to plunge into a state of perspiration and panic. There is an exception however – book shops.

Bookshops I can happily spend hours in, browsing the books, reading the magazines, taking in the atmosphere. And it is a rare event where I will leave a bookshop without a purchase. Perhaps the more relaxed atmosphere is to do with the fact that bookshops are meant to be enjoyed – unlike clotheshops where it is like a game of survival of the fittest, and unless you have a killer instinct you will be vanquished.

Bookshops are more relaxed and sedate, and the pleasantness they offer is not meant to be rushed – it is meant to be savoured.

Sadly, it is true that they are under attack like never before. But unlike videostores, bookshops will always exist. They may become more niche, and this cannot in fact be avoided, considering that reptile of a human being Jeff Bezos has as one of his gross company Amazon’s aims, to shutter all bookstores.

It won’t work – people may read e-books and order physical books from evil Amazon, but I hope there will always be a place for bookshops. They are magical places.

Of course Amazon is always useful for obtaining the book catalogue number. Then you can go to the physical store and they can obtain the book for you (probably from Amazon, but at least they are then getting a cut of the sale price). This is how I have been ordering books not on the shelves for about 4 years now. Generally speaking it will take a week, which is pretty nifty all things considered.

So I toddled up to Eason Bookstore (until last year is was called Easons but they have rebranded). I didn’t browse the books today as my motives were more base. This afernoon was for reading the gossip magazines – ‘Heat’ and ‘Now’ and ‘Inside Soap’ and ‘OK’. I am a glutton for thrashy pop culture and the Eason magazine rack is a wonder to behold – although I am unsure why these epic tomes of celebrity gossip are filed under ‘Women’s Interest’. Surely Jordan’s latest marital spat with her ex – Peter Andre – is news for all the ages, regardless of gender.

After I had read my fill of mindless celeb gossip I slunk out of the shop and walked to the top of Talbot Street, near Connolly Station where last week I noticed for the first time one of the more wondrous types of bookstore – the 2nd hand bookshop. These are the most special kind of bookshop, as there is rarely any rhyme or reason to the books on the shelves. Unlike Eason, the 2nd hand stores are not ruthless and calculating about what appears on the shelves. Eason and Waterstones and the like will only stock new releases very briefly before binning them for even new releases unless they are selling. And they will stock perennial bestsellers. The 2nd hand shops will stock pretty much anything and you will always surprise yourself with some long forgotten gem.

Today I acquired ‘The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest’ – the last in the trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I have read the earlier two but had to give away the third before my move back to Ireland. I bought it for three euros.

As I came out of the shop a couple passed me and they were holding hands. They were both women.

It’s not a big deal or anything, and since I’ve been back in Ireland it’s something I have noticed more often – same sex couples holding hands. It always seems to be female couples. I wonder why that is. Is it because women are braver than men? Maybe?

Is it because two men holding hands will provoke a more violent reaction from some random bigot who sees it, therefore they won’t take the chance? Because in his small little mind 2 women together are ‘hot’ (maybe they are, but I don’t think he understands that they are not hot for him) whereas 2 men together are just a crime against nature, and too close for comfort for his own unacknowledged desires?

I am overthinking it. Undoubtedly. But it seems to be the case that in March 2016, the sight of a same sex couple holding hands on the street is still noteable in my mind.

Then again, no-one else seemed to pay them any heed whatsoever.


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