Back to … School?

So, I’m a little obsessed with anything back-to-school. Pencil cases that I’ll never use, fresh packs of notebook paper, folders printed with Hello Kitty wearing glasses so she seems more studious … I literally have to back away from the office supply aisles every August to keep myself from buying it all.


Why do I love this stuff? It’s not because I love Hello Kitty that much (well, it’s not just because of that). To me, the beginning of a school year represents a fresh start, a chance to rewrite past mistakes (ahem, disorganization) and to get ready to learn again. Because, as geeky as it sounds (and is), I really like learning stuff.


This week at the shop, I’m learning I’m not alone in my back-to-school jealousy. Most of our Summer Reading books are bought, not by students or even parents of students, but by adults who regret not paying attention to the classics when they had a chance. I can’t tell you how many copies of The Awakening we’ve sold to people  heading to the pool (it doesn’t hurt that it has this great new cover). I never thought of Beowulf as a beach book, but apparently lots of our customers do. And I’m not the only one who’s picked up one of our Moleskine school planners, even though we’re not going back to school.



In defense of me and all the other student wannabes, being a student of life isn’t such a bad way to live. Part of the reason I love books so much is that they give me a way to always be learning about something new, to virtually visit different parts of the world and to experience history. And as far as buying school supplies? Hello Kitty might be a bit much, but there’s nothing wrong with my new Moleskine, a tool that gives me another chance for a fresh start, even though it’s not January 1 … and even though I’m scheduling bill paying and work meetings, not homework and pep rallies.


Carrie Rollwagen is co-owner and book buyer at Church Street Coffee & Books.

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