So . . . to mix things up a little, every Friday I will list of four things. Hope you enjoy and I would love to hear feedback.
Four BOOKSTORES I MISS on Friday
I love bookstores. I love to wander through the shelves, read the backs, admire the covers, revisit old favorites, and discover new opportunities. I am the person that no less than three salesclerks approach me offering me a basket for my books; of course I turn them down. How else am I able to control what I purchase? I can only buy what I can carry! Unfortunately, many bookstores are closing and finding good ones are few and far between. Here are four that I miss.
The Borders in Schaumburg, Illinois was the bookstore of the early days of my marriage. My husband and I would wander the shelves and then meet in the café for coffee (him) and tea (me). The Borders is Los Gatos, California was where we took our children when they were small. My son played with the Thomas the Tank Engine table for hours while I read. Periodically, he would take a break from James and Henry and bring me a few books, usually Thomas ones, and we would sit and read together. When his patience ran out, he would toddle back to the table. This was also the Borders that I took him to meet Corduroy the Bear and he ran screaming around the store. Good times . . . The Allen, Texas Borders was one of the first where my children were of an age to go to the kids’ section by themselves while I perused the mysteries. I was devastated when this chain went under.
What a great place to find cheap books! Here I discovered the delightful Miss Zukas mysteries and purchased my first three Harry Potter books. Always a little disorganized, I truly felt I was on an adventure whenever I dropped in.
When my first child was born, I had the brilliant idea of taking him to the mall every month for the first year of his life to have his picture taken. Fast forward to two more children later and I am hitting my head on the wall: what was I thinking?? Three children, three and under, at the mall?? Waldenbooks . . . and McDonald’s (don’t judge) were my saviors. If everyone would smile and be nice and get their pictures taken, we could have chicky nuggets and fries and ketchup, and THEN go to the bookstore! Most of the time, we didn’t even buy any books; we would just sit on the floor and read. Often they would pick out the same books we had at home, and just as often I would find other children sitting with me as I read.
Okay, technically Waterstone Books is still open . . . in the UK, but when I was a young girl, there was a Waterstone Books on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Although we lived a good three hours away and didn’t venture into the city but a couple of times a year, I always loved to wander in. The bookstore looked like what I pictured an English bookstore to look; with lots of wood and formal reading chairs. When you walked in, there was a hush of reverence, and although I probably imagined it, a faint whiff of pipe smoke. The prices on the books were listed in pounds, as well as US dollars. I don’t remember ever even buying anything there; it was just a place to look and smell and feel a part of somewhere special.