December 4, 2012

Multiplying the Love for Books

Posted in 2012 Journal, Traveling Minstrel Journals, Uncategorized at 19:47 by Miracle

On December 1st, Multiply.com discontinued its social networking functions and now remains as an e-commerce hub solely for buyers and sellers.  I am one who loves the old-fashioned idea of meeting people outside the realm of the internet that if I were to choose between a world with social networking sites and a world without them, I would still choose the latter.  However, we cannot seem to run away from technology and the way it continues to change our lives and, along with that, the way we are introduced to new friends and acquaintances.  While my regret at having to say goodbye to the memories shaped and stored in that site is not as intense as that of more loyal Multiply users, I cannot help but feel rather tristful at having to leave one of the online nooks where I have met some of the most marvelous people in my life.

Coinciding with Multiply’s cessation as a social networking site on December 1 was the grand opening of La Belle Aurore Bookshop’s new branch in Junquera, Cebu City.  The owner graciously invited me to play the piano as the finale number of the program that consisted of readings from amazing literary people and two beautiful singers with ethereal voices.  I, of course, did not think twice about the invitation.  Aside from being an ardent fan of the original La Belle Aurore Bookshop at Hernan Cortes St. in Mandaue City and the owner being a dear friend, I have always dreamed about performing in a room full of books. It was the perfect opportunity to fulfill such a fantasy.  Furthermore, what I found exceptionally significant about the readers, the performers, and the audience, was that most of us befriended each other many years ago through Multiply and some of us have been connected there for several years already but only met face to face for the first time at the bookshop opening.  These were people with beautiful souls and minds brought together by the love of books.

La Belle Aurore Bookshop embodies what every steadfast booklover yearns for: The musty scent of book pages that seem to us like choicest perfume, the cozy feel of nooks that big and commercialized bookstores cannot replicate, lamps of old-world impressions that transport customers to a gentler atmosphere, and an owner who is just as passionate about books and who caters the longings of the diminishing race of booklovers in this digital age.  Book-zealots will be familiar with the famous and historical bookshop in Paris called Shakespeare & Company of which journalist Jeremy Mercer, in the memoir of his sojourn there, wrote, “Hard time goes slowly and painfully and leaves a man bitter… Time at Shakespeare & Company was as soft as anything I’d ever felt.”  Everyone who attended the opening or anyone who has been able to visit any of the two La Belle Aurore branches will agree that time is definitely soft there.

Let social networking sites become bygones one by one; just do not let me see the day when books, newspapers, and the printed word become obsolete.  La Belle Aurore succeeds in doing what I also continue to advocate in my own little way, and that is to remind people, especially the younger generation, that there exists a beautiful and incomparable world in reading.

December 1, 2012

“…and the great advantage of being a literary woman, was that you could go everywhere and do everything.” – Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

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