Just to give a brief introduction: Now that I have written for an entire week about meeting some incredible new people, I've decided to start a new week-long series. This one should be pretty cool, and I REALLY hope you enjoy! I am going to try to visit 7 new places these next 7 days. And then I'm going to scurry to my clackety keyboard and share my adventures with all of you. So, jump in the car with me! Let's take a drive and find some new and wonderful places to visit! Maybe we'll grab a bite to eat on the way? I'll buy - my treat.
I drive by this little place every now and then. It's such a small town; I'm surprised I ever noticed it.
The building is a bit worn out and aged. Ancient white paint all cracked and weathered clings to the exterior. Which I actually prefer... I feel invited.
I usually wonder what it's like inside and I'll ponder stopping by once in a while. But I never do. At least, not till today.
I drive down the street slowly, trying to find a spot along the sidewalk to park my gas-deprived car.
I'm so excited to get inside, but I calm myself and slow my walking pace as I approach the door. I wouldn't want to scare the people inside.
I'm not really sure what to expect from a tiny second-hand book shop. Well, obviously there's bound to be some books. Otherwise I'd be a bit nervous.
When I open the slightly heavy glass door, that's exactly what I'm greeted by. Books. No, not tidy rows of neatly organized genres.
Shelves, rows, rooms, stacks, bins, counter tops - even the floor. There are books everywhere.
And what's even better? They all look like they've certainly been used. They've been held, and cuddled beneath small lamps. They've traveled from here to there, store to home, hand to backpack, grandfather to grandson... all to end up here in this wonderfully dusty pile of a place.
I swear I couldn't breathe for a few seconds. For some weird and silly feeling, this was all so beautiful.
Oh! There must be billions of words surrounding me! All of them so still and quiet as they sit among the others, yet so loud and obnoxious as they call out for my eyes to feast upon them.
I probably looked absolutely ridiculous as the lady welcomed me to her paper-filled wonderland.
"Hi there, young lady. What can I do for you?" She was so short, and round, and I was sure her smile came straight off the cover of a Betty Crocker cookbook. She even had poofy hair.
"Hello, I'm just looking, thank you." I tried to make eye contact, but my wandering eye balls just wouldn't obey.
"Well, what do you like to read? Maybe I could help you find a good book?"
A good book? I stood there imagining all the incredible stories I could get my mind wrapped around.
"I love to read just about anything. I think I'l just look around."
She laughed warmly before responding. It was a laugh that seemed to say "I've seen this before."
"Well you go on ahead and wander around. If you follow that arrow, just keep walking through the doorways to each room until you can't go no further."
I thanked her as I found the big, yellow arrow she was pointing at. I figured there was only one more room.
I was so wrong.
The store seemed so very tiny and filled to the brim with books, but it never ended! I slowly walked through the first door. Then the second. Then the third. Then... oh my golly gosh a fourth! I was afraid I'd get lost!
But it was all so incredible. With every step, I fell deeper into a new kind of typed and printed, bottomless world.
I don't exactly know how it happened, but I soon found myself sitting cross-legged on the musty carpet reading through random books that grabbed my attention.
It was lovely.
After a while, the kind, round lady came and found me there on the floor and talked with me for a little bit. Her name is Madeline. I really adore that name. And that place. And all the stunning piles of books.
I also discovered one of the best things ever: I can bring in my old books and trade them for new ones from within the store.
It changed my life today.