My New Book from New York

On Sunday, I walked around New York City for the first time in a while. I went straight to the Flatiron District, my 'hood from last summer. My plan that evening was to find some dessert gifts, some touristy postcards, and to wander along the way wherever my eyes and ears led me.

I naturally headed down my usual walk to work and ended up in Union Square listening to wiggling jazz musicians, and on the other end of the park, there was some sort of choreographed ballroom dancing lesson flooded with sunlight and romance.

Walking around, I found some postcards - which are more elusive than you might think - and a Barnes & Noble that offered refuge from the heat.

Inside, I asked a fella about a book I was looking for, and he pointed me, to my surprise, to the Buddhism section on the fourth floor. Four escalators later, after I found my book, I stumbled upon a table of Classic Fiction, and as I was hovering over them, I felt something.

I clenched my stomach. I was hungry, but I had just eaten. This feeling was that familiar sensation, but not for food. I was literarily starved. I hadn't read a good book in months, and all of these looked ripe and succulent. Steinbeck, Kerouac, Dostoevsky...

But then I remembered the one in my hand. My friend loaned her copy to me, and about ten pages in, I knew that I wanted one of my own. I never write in books, but there were so many phrases and ideas I wanted to mark, so many little comments I wanted to jot down in the margins. I could tell that this book would be very important to me as it has been for many others. So, with the comfort of a full-course meal in my hand, I moved on, bought it, and started reading on the train home.

I'd be cruel if I didn't say what it was, wouldn't I?

Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.