The other day, while waiting for a flight in the Salt Lake City Airport, I accidentally ran into a bookstore and it became my favorite.
To be honest, I do not frequent bookstores nowadays. For one thing, there is not a nice one near where I live. For another, it is much easier and cheaper to find and buy books online now. That day, I wandered around the waiting area of the airport simply to kill some time.
At a first glance, the bookstore did not impress me. It was of reasonable size, considering the limited space at the airport. Besides books, it also carried other items such as candies and U-shaped pillows, etc. A few people were looking around in the bookstore, while a young woman apparently was waiting for someone at the door. Most people just passed it without stopping.
After stepping into it, I looked up and noticed that there were people's quotes on the top of the side walls just under the ceiling. They were printed on wookboards with some antique style decorations. I was instantly attracted to them and began to read them one by one.
The first one was "Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. - Truman Capote". Interesting. It reminded me of the Chinese proverb "Failure is the mother of success," but it tasted lighter somehow. Maybe I was a little scared by a friend's wife's lengthy and strenuous labor. Another one read "Only the shallow know themselves. - Oscar Wilde". Surely I could relate to this one.
There seemed to be a few pairs. For example, Shakespeare's "Listen to many, speak to a few." was quite close in approach to Thomas Jefferson's "Be polite to all, but intimate with few." They would probably get along, had they lived in the same region and time. Another pair was J.R.R. Tolkien's "Not all those who wander are lost." and Walt Whitman's "Be curious, not judgmental." Both encouraged people to think out of the box and to explore the unknown.
Among all the people quoted, C.S. Lewis might be the favorite of the bookstore owner, since he was the only one with two quotes. One was "This moment contains all moment." and the other was "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." I understood the former as emphasizing the importance of living the current moment to the fullest, without regretting too much about the past or worrying too much about the future. I especially liked the latter. It could very well mean that as people age, they would learn to appreciate the essence of fairy tales more. Since we were trying to have a baby, I thought I could also interpret it as when people have children, they would re-read the fairy tales again, this time as parents.
I happened to be unsatisfied with the lack of new ideas in my day to day life at that time. That was why I was really happy and excited when the quotes I found serendipitously in the bookstore infused me with some fresh, stimulating thoughts. This bookstore, Crismon's News & Views at the Salt Lake City Airport, became my favorite bookstore that day and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
PS: Below is a list of the quotes in the bookstore. Thanks to the bookstore manager, who kindly allowed me to take some pictures in there.
Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor
- Truman Capote
Only the shallow know themselves.
- Oscar Wilde
Listen to many, speak to a few.
Be polite to all, but intimate with few.
- Thomas Jefferson
Not all those who wander are lost.
- J.R.R. Tolkien
Be curious, not judgmental.
- Walt Whitman
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
- Tom Clancy
Fiction is the truth inside the lie.
- Stephen King
Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
- J.K. Rowling
This moment contains all moments.
- C.S. Lewis
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
- C.S. Lewis
Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.
- Jane Austen
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
- J.K. Rowling
Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald