Book Store on a Rainy Night

I remember worrying about the books at the front of the store.

The shop had a foldout awning, but it offered little protection when the weather turned stormy.

I always looked through those books first before I went into the Aladdin’s cave; High Street Preston Used Books and Old Stuff.

It was a very long sign.

If I wanted to, I could walk past this shop on my way to and from work, but I liked to vary my route. I sometimes saw myself as a female version of a spy from one of my books, making sure that I was not followed. The variable route also made it harder for someone to assassinate me.

You develop a vivid imagination when you read as much as I do.

Someone tried to ‘interfere’ with me on my way home from work late one night, but I fended him off with my mother’s hatpin. I heard him yelp before he ran away.

I wear the hatpin as a broach, and I’ve only had to employ it that one time.

I was proud of myself, but a few moments later, I was shaking like a leaf in a storm. I knew what was happening to me because I’d read about it in books about trench warfare — adrenaline.

I leaned up against a shop window until my legs started working again, then I walked as fast as I could. I wanted to get home, and I wanted to dissipate the adrenaline.

When I got home, I washed the hatpin and put it back on the lapel of my coat. Over the next few days, I noticed that I would feel to see if it was still there.

I asked the gentleman who owned the bookstore why he put the books out on the pavement in front of his shop. He gave several apparent answers, “Too advertise that I sell books (I would have thought that that was obvious), and to get rid of some of the ‘doubles’ and cheaper versions of books I have inside.”

“Aren’t you worried about them getting stolen or damaged?” I asked.

“Book people don’t steal books and if they do they must really need them, so why worry? Every time I buy a batch of books, there are several I don’t want, but they are a ‘job lot’ so I take them in order to get the valuable ones.”

It makes sense, I guess.

Still, I worry about the books that might get rained on.

Someone wrote them.

Someone made them.

Someone read them.

Many people have their fingerprints on them, and each person deposited a bit of magic and mystery.

The least I can do is look through them all.

You never know what you might find, even on a rainy night.

13 thoughts on “Book Store on a Rainy Night

  1. Dear Araneus,
    we like your text.
    We are book-freaks and can’t pass by bookshops without having a browse. Now we run a book corner for our community. We don’t mind if books are taken without paying a little fee in the honesty box. It’s more important that the books are read. They need that like we need to breathe.
    Thanks for sharing your text. Wishing you a fine weekend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You gotta watch out for those assassination attempts.

    Beautiful story, Terry. I’ve never thought about it before, but you’re right: readers are remarkably honest people, and if they have to steal a book, there must be a higher principle than honesty operating.

    Like

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment. Once upon a time, I ran a shop that sold old stuff and a local bloke gave me a shitload of old books to sell. I traded mostly on weekends and we were a bit out of the way. Book buyer/readers found us and would spend hours browsing through the collection. I NEVER lost a single book through shoplifting — amazing.

      Like

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