There is something about bookshops that I’ve always loved. I remember going into them as a kid and finding the perfect book to read, sitting down on the floor and getting stuck in. My mum would always say, “Stop it, this isn’t a library.” And I knew that it wasn’t, because bookshops were always somehow better.
Here’s the thing: I’ve had a casual job in a small local bookshop for over a year now, and looking at all the books I spent countless hours stacking, dusting, moving, rearranging, alphabetizing and tidying, I see a room of old friends.
So I went into the shop today, and the thing is, it was the last time I’ll ever get to. The shop is closing, and when I went in, there were only a few books left for sale. They were all stacked on this table right in the middle of the shop, these three rows of books that was all that remained of over a year of memories. And the thing was, I recognised almost all the books that were there, but I hadn’t read a single one of them.
Isn’t that sad? All these books, in their different covers, colours, designs and fonts, brought back so many good memories of a great job, but I didn’t know any more about them than where they belonged on the shelf. I would’ve loved so much to have gotten more time to be able to not just know the books by where they needed to be put, but by the stories they told and the way they made me feel. That’s really what I wanted, after all: to spend time being immersed in the creations of people’s minds; their opinions, hopes, dreams, fears and Crazy Lands just like my own.
I feel really, really sad about losing the job. There were so many amazing times: reading Peppa Pig to a five-year-old cutie; finding books for ten-year-old girls that were secretly the books I had loved to read at their age; spending approximately five hours every week surrounded by good reads and great readers. I’m devastated to not be able to have that anymore. But in a way, I feel like it’s a good thing. Maybe I’ll be able to walk into a bookshop now without compulsively straightening the shelves. Maybe I’ll be able to sit on the floor and read, instead of finding the vacuum to clean it. I can hear my mum now: “It’s not a library!”
Until next time,