Today I got to buy some books from our local bookstore, Prairie Books & Gifts. The store is closing after 43 years. I was awash with emotions as I walked around the store. When I worked downtown, I would spend time in the store. Sometimes reading a book in their reading area. Other times, just wandering the aisles until my lunch break was over.
I wrote a series awhile back about how different life was for me growing up as compared to my children. I started to consider that my kids may never know the joy of a bookstore, especially a local store. (I don’t think that will happen, but you never know…)
There is something magical about a bookstore, about the rows of books. Finding your favorite author’s books, hoping in some small way that there is a new book, or gandering through a genre or subject section. Yes, I always checked the poetry section.
A bookstore is the center of our universe. There are millions of worlds, people, and story lines just waiting for us to discover. And yes, you do sometimes judge a book by its cover. You pick it up from the shelf, slightly bouncing it in your hands trying to get a feel of the weight of the book, both physically and metaphorically. The crinkle of the binding. A quick read of a page. And then you have to decide if you are going to enter that world. The whole process is magical. A bookstore is the center of this universe, and it makes me sad to see our local universe die.