The vacation was over. Slightly nervous about a new school year in a similarly new seventh grade, I shuffled into the largest bookstore here where I would receive my school books. The smell that met me upon entering was unmistakable. It smelt like a candy store. Intriguing and inviting. I’ll never forget that first time there. And I still take the opportunity to spend a few hours in this store every time I visit our city center.
I was amazed at the somewhat bizarre location this wonderful store had. The store occupies several buildings and had small stairs through narrow corridors. It is an authentic concept in our hometown (Haarlem). And each book had its own place.
That was the case for years, until a minor reorganization took place. And I was more or less forced to feel other books in the place where I usually found myself. I notice that there was a world of difference between Romance and Fantasy novels, Psychology handbooks and the rest.
Notwithstanding the above, as every book smells essentially the same. Although every book does encourage you to pick it up, feel the cover, smell the pages, and wonder who knows what other mysteries lay behind those yet undiscovered pages. Every book has that mystical quality. That’s one of the reasons why I still won’t look at an e-book, but that aside.
The great thing about this bookshop is that, just like me, there are always people who cannot be turned away. Who, like me, take whole days to read every possibly interesting book. As if they too are captivated by the ambition to read them all. Ever.
As if they cannot choose which book to buy. And with that secret affection, just like me, prefer to move in immediately. Because living in this bookshop, who wouldn’t want that?