Strand Encounters is a feature detailing all of the wonderful bits of awesomeness I acquire in the legendary Strand Bookstore. Are you a New Yorker, or someone who loves the Strand Bookstore and wants to post about it? You should totally take on this feature on your blog!!!
The thing I love about the Strand Bookstore is that even if you come in with a book in mind, you never come out with what you expected. It's always a surprise, stumbled upon serendipitously. Last week, during one of the nicest days that the City has seen in a long while, I found my way into the Strand. No real money, but hey, you deal. I thought I would check for another novel called, Bodega Dreams by Ernesto Quinonez, but this was eclipsed as soon as I found this wonderful book: Atop an Underwood, early writings by the late Jack Kerouac. And then I discovered that today is his birthday, and thought that I should do a little homage to the beautiful Ti Jean! The book contained a personal message from an Uncle to his nephew on his way to college. Only in the Strand (or your equivalent of an indie bookshop) can you find books that have histories. Perhaps, I'll write a message in it, and if I decide to give it away (which probably won't happen) someone else can find it!
I wanted to see his writing evolve from what it was when he was 13 to what it became when he penned his most famous work On The Road. What lies in the mind of one who embraced his own unique voice from a young age? I want to glean this from him.
I learned to be an exciting, passionate writer because this man wasn't afraid to chronicle his meanderings, thoughts, and visions onto the page. I may not agree with every single thing he got into, as the beatniks lived a quite sex/drug filled reverie. But, his words pulse with life, beauty, and zeal that is infectious. This man makes me want to take my own 'On the Road' journey, just so I can fill a journal with the people I'll meet, the places I'll discover, and the growth that God will no doubt bring me to.
Every writer who hopes to make any kind of difference in the world, should read him. He'll encourage you not to let the critics get you down, but to throw your entire heart on the page. It's only then that you will change someone's life.
Do you like Kerouac? What's you're favorite work by him? For now, mine is The Subterraneans.
PostScript: Can I thank all of you new followers once again for clicking the GFC button? You all make me smile! I hope you enjoy my posts, and thanks for reading!