The Bookstore

The Bookstore

We walk into the bookstore.
It feels like a forgotten place.
A vast sea I remember fondly from childhood.
From the moment I step in, I’m surrounded.
Consumed by possibilities.

I make a random selection.
And immediately things begin to change.

But I can’t get pulled in here
Ten feet inside the door.
I must go deeper.
So I set it down.

I look up, I’m looking for you.
I round a corner and there you are
But something else catches my eye.
Just for a second I look away.
The pull is strong.
It’s like destiny is beckoning
With one outstretched index finger.
Wearing a sly smile that is so knowing
And never telling.

When I look up again you are gone.
Do you see me and not want to be seen?
I walk to where you were
But you have vanished without a trace.
My height is a disadvantage
You can see above the shelves. I cannot.

I’m feeling so full of thoughts
Another desire washes over me
Takes the wheel away from all the other things.
I want to capture this moment
This series of thoughts that are spinning.

I need to find a place to sit. And be taller.
The answer is right in front of me.
The answer was there long before the question.
The bookstore has a coffee shop in it.
The bookstore is not a bookstore anymore.
Three steps up and I will be taller.

I’m looking at all the people in the coffee shop.
Not reading books, but focussed on something else.
Laptops and phones.
A world of information at their fingertips.
Most appear deep inside that world.
Looking and listening and tapping away.
Like children lost in the endless possibilities
Of a great and powerful bookstore.

All while drinking coffee and eating sweet treats.
So much addiction. So much to consume.

I’m in the zone now and then I look up.
I see you again. Still, with your back turned to me.
I’m not reading either.
This place is a ruse.

Being taller, I can see the tops of all the shelves.
I can see all the sections.
Sections for fiction, and self help, and music
Sections for kids and crafts and boardgames.
Why would the bookstore have boardgames?

I ponder only a moment
And then I notice you are gone again.
Moved on I suppose.
I wonder if you wonder where I’ve gone to.
I wonder if you will come looking for me.
If you ask me where I am, I won’t be sure.

I think about the facts.
Anyone can read anything they want now
Anywhere, without actual books.
So what will happen to all the books?
And if there are no more books
What will happen to the bookstore?
The answer was there long before the question.