It is my first trip to a Barnes and Noble this year. I know that does not seem particularly noteworthy or an important item on the list of things to do in a given year, but trips to bookstores, and specifically B&N, hold a special significance for me.
These trips to B&N were a personal gift to myself that I began doing in high school when I finally had a vehicle and enough disposable income to justify going and spending time in the big box bookstore for a day. Thus, every birthday I would skip classes or take the day off from work (had to use PTO or lose it anyhow) and spend the day reading, eating a pastry (or two), drinking a coffee (or three), and just fully feeling in my element.
As time progressed, these trips, at least some of them, would become a joint thing with my father and brother. I kind of introduced/converted them to the concept of a Barnes and Noble day, and now we take several of these day trips throughout the year. It is a pause on otherwise hurried and hectic schedules dealing with work and social commitments and the various going ons of life. These moments away keep us sane and stable and for a brief time provide a bit of sanctuary from everything. Thankfully, it still does and, hopefully, will continue to do so for years and years to come.