Friday, December 16, 2011

Me, Oscar Wilde, and the Central Book City

I'm one of the laziest people on Earth. Here's the proof: the best and biggest book shop in Iran is just 15 minutes away from my home, and I've been there just twice.

My second time there was last week. It was a sad Friday evening, I was sitting idly at my computer gazing at the flat monitor and feeling the whole world have died outside. I was sure if I stayed in my room for more than an hour I'd die from sadness and being bored. So I texted my sister and told her to get home and take me out with her to the central Book City. I knew going there has got therapeutic effects on me.

And it had. The moment I put my feet in there, I felt good. Seeing books, people, the lights and the soft music made me all well. I immediately went upstairs to find what I had in my mind and to buy it. I saw it some time ago but I felt at that time it wasn't a suitable time to buy it. But on that evening I knew only a book in English with beautiful watercolour painting of roses on its cover can evaporate my unhappiness.

It was a collection of John Keats poems. And I do love it. It's now sitting happily in my bookcase.

Now about the Central Book City:

Book City is a name for a chain of book shops in Iran. The first time I saw one of these shops was back in my teens, around 13 years ago. The book city shops have both books and stationary. The Central Book City was in a street called Zartosht street and it had just one floor and an amphitheatre for weekly meetings and debates. Later on the central Book City was moved to a bigger 3-floor place near our house. Yes!

As I said the place has got 3 floors. The first floor is for Persian books, music records and CDs. There's also a small lovely cafe in the corner with pleasant smell of coffee and tasty cheesecakes. Upstairs is for books in other languages, including English, French, and German. There you can many good books from other countries, like my John Keats book. Downstairs is special for stationary, toys and crafts and postcards. I found a lovely mug there and I'm planning to buy it ASAP.

Anyway, I had a really good time there, leafing through books, checking music CDs and picking up colourful pens and looking at crafts and postcards. As we were standing behind the cashier counter and waiting for our turn, I looked up, and saw a big banner up on the wall with various black and white pictures of writers and poets. Among all those pictures, Oscar Wilde caught my eye, leaning his head to his arm with that nice long coat. I looked and looked and looked at him, and as he was looking at me too, I felt I'm not sad anymore.

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