I finally finished reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” a few weeks ago, and have been itching ever since for a new book. I pored through my bookshelf and briefly contemplated re-reading an old favorite. Books are like friends, and sometimes I yearn for the comfort of a well-known tale to soothe my soul. “To Kill a Mockingbird” tempted me as I pulled it off the shelf and thumbed through the pages. But no, my longing was for a new friend, an undiscovered story I’d yet to hear. I placed the book back on the shelf and decided a trip to the bookstore was definitely in my future. On Sunday afternoon, my oldest son and I went to a museum to view an exhibit of works by Matisse and Picasso. After the tour, the car seemed to automatically steer itself toward the bookstore. Walking through the entrance, my stomach fluttered with a familiar, giddy rush of expectation. A million stories were waiting on the other side of these glass doors, waiting to be read. My son quickly found a book on Greek mythology that captured his interest while I browsed the Literature section like a sailboat drifting with the tide, searching for the right wind. But it wasn’t until we were standing in the check-out line that my inner compass found “true north.” I picked up a copy of “The Piano Teacher” by Janice Y.K. Lee and read the back cover. The story sounded intriguing enough, and the book was a comfortable weight in my hands. I gave the sales clerk my credit card and let the thrilling satisfaction of buying a new book flood through my veins. Later, as I curled up on my gray/blue sofa with my new friend, I reflected on the value of a good book. As I began to read, I was once again reminded that nothing in this world quite compares to the pleasure of spending time with a good story.