A few times a year, when led to it by a lessening ability to cope with things like the roof leaking, the light bulbs burning out, frenetic drivers, ubiquitous litter and the general state of the world's disintegration, I imagine a separate place.
It's always the same: a small cabin in a field of aspen. Outside the snow is falling. Inside, I'm sitting in a worn armchair by the fire. I am reading a book, and in the slow drift of time, I can feel the texture of the pages as I turn them.
My dog, of course, is sleeping on the rug beside me.
The most important part of this mental image is the book that I'm reading.
For like many people, I find in books a comfort and a companionship, a refuge from an urgently insistent world. I've had some of my best discussions with the authors of books, and found some of my best friends within their pages. And though I wouldn't go so far as Thomas Jefferson as to say that I could not live without books, I would keenly feel and be lessened by their absence.
That is why I was saddened to hear of the closing of Longmont's Borders bookstore.
For the closing of the store and, indeed, of the entire franchise, not only means that Longmont has lost its only new book bookstore, but that books themselves are threatened, if not by extinction, then by loss of selection.
The onrush of the electronic age with its iPads, Droids and Kindles has crowded out the plain old book with its solid weight.
National Education Association statistics show that reading and literacy are declining, and that Americans spend far more time with computers, televisions and electronic gadgetry than they ever do with books.
Booksellers are hard put, and publishers are disappearing. Today's youth are more likely to be familiar with online games titles such as "Dragon Age" and "Oblivion" than with "The Children of Green Knowe" or "Huckleberry Finn."
All this is to say that, as a reader, I am worried about my future. I am worried about the attrition of books with paper, which are to me the only books worth reading.
I am worried about the folding of bookstores like Borders, and the lost opportunity for browsing. I am worried about the loss of books with gravitas, books that can break "the seas frozen inside (the) soul" when they are no longer profitable for publishing.
I shall miss them when they're gone, and I shall miss Longmont's Borders. There was no better place for grazing the written word, and for meeting the best of friends.