beloved bookshop

I read something the other morning which triggered a memory of my favorite bookstore. The memory came with a longing and a deep sense of nostalgia. How I love my bookstore.

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But wait.

I realized, with some surprise, that this bookstore exists in my dreams, and that I have visited this bookstore many, many times over the years. It is possible that this blog post marks the first time I’ve considered it in my waking life.

There are clues pointing to it as a dream, if my dreaming self cared to know. The bookstore is set in a far corner of an empty, or abandoned but well-maintained, shopping complex. It takes a few specific twists and turns to find the bookstore.

Once there, the bookstore is well-lit by floor to second story ceiling windows along one exterior wall. The windows look out upon an ocean grey enough to be mistaken for a parking lot with a careless glance.

My section, where I know all my favorite books are yet to be discovered, is set upon a raised, rounded stage that looks over the rest of the bookstore. All the shelves in this section are wooden and black, in contrast to the beige metal shelves below. The flooring of each matches the shelves.

There is a large cabinet against the wall with glass doors. Inside this cabinet are second-hand, out-of-print books, all of which I know I’ll love. I handle them like fragile treasures.

low light photography of books
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The employees know me by name, and spend their shifts behind counters, usually nose-deep inside a book. There is a swirl of magic in the air and the scent of cinnamon mingles with the book smell. The air is heavy, like it’s raining outside, but cozy, as if the atmosphere is carefully curated to make it easy to slip inside a story and read and read and read.

I’m half-sad to discover this beloved bookshop exists in my subconscious, but the feeling is mixed with a curious sense of pride and protectiveness. Do you ever dream of a place that seems more real than the waking world?

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life in the clouds

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Every day, before getting dressed, she tucked her dreams into a secret cloud she hid in the back of her dresser. There they were safe from the discouragement of the day, the darkness of storms, and the heartbreak of growing up.

They clustered together, but they never grew tangled. They held each other up, but they never held each other back. Once or twice, a dream slipped away and came true. Those dreams were whispered about in hallowed tones.

Most of the dreams spent their whole lives inside their little, secret cloud. She took them out at night and followed them through the jungle of her slumber. These were the ones that she loved best on the far side of her life, the ones she shared with her children and her grandchildren. Dream by dream, she passed them on.

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nodding off

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The flower child yawned, her eyes closing against her will. Her head fell forward as sleep overtook her. She realized it at once and jerked herself awake. It lasted half a moment before she nodded off again. She began to fight it once more but her dreams began to whisper promises of wondrous things and tempted her to stay.