Adults may feel more comfortable in the adjacent room where benches, strewn with pillows, line the walls -- gazing distance between the entrance to the children's room and the window frames that overlook the front area of the shop, the part where the books are sold.
The shop area is very quaint. Custom bookshelves painted a distressed white line the equally distressed brick walls. A chalkboard at the top informs the peruser what section they are located in -- fiction, local, political. In the middle of the store sit a few simple round tables donned with tablecloths and showing off some locally made cards and colorful stationary. No Barnes and Noble, you will not find discounts akin to vats of olive oil or sales of highly addictive legal stimulants. You buy what they have and you pay full price.
I suppose that may be why they are permanently closing their doors for business at the end of this month.
I stopped by today for a visit. I'd like to think it was altruistic in nature - wanting to support the independent book store - however, not so deep in my heart I knew I was here to get some cheap books. The fact is, I had never actually purchased a book from this store. I am the type who takes pride in buying discount on the internet. My pride, however, turned to embarrasment upon crossing the threshold of the shop. The man behind the counter seemed to greet me in a friendly manner, but I felt as if he recognized me for what I was-- a vulture feeding on leftover carrion.
I meandered through the store trying not to look as guilty as I felt. Picking up and putting down books, I overheard a couple near me commenting on the sale prices. They weren't low enough they declared. My mind wandered. Must saving money always be such a priority? Isn't there something to be said for the experience of strolling through a store such as this? From asking the guy behind the counter what good read he discovered this month? The store will probably turn into a baby gap or something equally depressing, I thought to myself. The little nugget of guilt had started turning into righteous indignation at the injustice that was occurring. That this poor little book store was being forced to close because people need to save a buck! Then... The Good Earth caught my eye and interrupted my thoughts. Bingo, I'd been wanting to read this book. Four Dollars?! Sweet! My mood immediately brightened.
I purchased the book, and asked what time they opened tomorrow. My thoughts had changed again... I'd have to go home and make a list of other books I'd been wanting - to see if I could save a buck...