This morning I’m dreaming of the past where bookstores, mostly independent, peppered the retail landscape. Once upon a time I had several choices in the city I now live and then one by one they quietly shuttered as they gave way to the super stores. Borders, Barnes and Noble and another chain called Media Play. And then the last ones standing were Barnes and Noble and one independent. Having so many choices was something I never took for granted as I gave all of them my love. A Friday night browsing with a friend in tow or even on my own was a great way to start the weekend, in my opinion. So many books, so little time.
So now when I’m visiting a new town, I’m drawn to seek out the local bookstore, hoping it’s not a Barnes and Noble and I usually find success. For the past 10 summers we’ve been vacationing on the Delaware shore and a trip wasn’t complete until I found my way to Rehobooth’s Browesabout Books. I’d tell the others to walk along the boardwalk without me while I perused the shelves for something new to read even though I had loaded up my Kindle for the trip. To my nose, the scent of a bookstore is the most beautiful aroma in the world.
I Googled bookstores this morning and three independent’s popped up within a short distance and looking at the map I see Cape Cod is peppered with them! This is a book lovers haven. But how will this work in our current COVID climate? Can you just walk into a bookstore and browse these days? I have yet to visit one in person since mid-March when lockdown began but I’m not going to be able to pass up the opportunity to at least try to visit the one in walking distance and make a purchase no matter how small. To me it would be a national crisis to let these gems close down due to financial insolvancy.
It’s just part of my DNA to equate vacation with books and the pull of a new bookstore to discover is too strong to ignore. I’m anticipating the jingle of a bell as I open the door to the discovery of a new world and it’s a music I long to hear.