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Surrounded by Books

Posted on December 13 2018

Surrounded by Books

My first day working at Marissa’s Bookstore was more than I’d imagined. As a kid, I dreamed of being surrounded by books, as that felt like home to me. Now decades later, I stepped inside the store, and was home in a sense. Turning in every direction to see stacks and rows, of somewhat chaotic and neat aisles, gave me sheer excitement. Oh, the adventures I would have here, in the center of many brilliant and creative minds. The smell of books, well . . . it’s quite amazing! If you haven’t sniffed a book lately, you should. Bliss.

Carefully placing these masterpieces on the shelf, seeing writer friend’s books on display, and sharing my favorite titles and authors with customers . . . a dream. I had thought about these things, and how it would be to work at a bookstore for months before I started my job. I didn’t think about my absolute favorite thing though, as I wouldn’t have understood it, or the magnitude of it, that I do now. It’s filled me with a whole new sense of appreciation for my craft and myself as I create, but for readers as well.

I had heard of “regulars” who came in once a week, on a Monday, at the same time everyday. I anticipated seeing this.

The following Monday, I got to work, ready to greet this lovely couple into our store. They were an elderly couple. Visiting the bookstore, came after paying bills, a trip to the post office, and grocery shopping. Once their errands were done, they would have a few hours to come in and take time, buying a book for each other. This couple, put thought into their purchase and stayed for two hours, walking every aisle, laughing, giggling, and reading the first page of multiple books. It was an experience, to buy a treasure for one another. Not something to rush through because they knew this new book would become a close friend. They held hands, and walked to the register. Leaving with new books and a promise to come back the following week.

Everyday book lovers come in with a smile, and leave with an even bigger one. I got a giant hug from a woman who desperately wanted to find, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, for her book club read. She’d been three places and it was sold out. We happened to have not only that one, but the whole series. She squealed and thanked me repeatedly. An older gentleman called to ask me for every single copy I could find in hardcover of The Hardy Boys, starting at sixty-six on up. When I told him I had sixty-seven in the store, and could get him the rest, he laughed with such heart and excitement. His inner child held found memories of this collection. A lady in her mid-twenties, came in to discuss with me her passion for philosophy and the power of the mind. We had a very in-depth heart to heart conversation about religion, the world, and our views on mind-set. So many lovely people, have talked to me about their favorite characters. Even mentioning to me, that they think about what that character would do, when faced with a tough decision. This is what it’s all about.

Bookstores.

They make a difference.

Readers love the books they hold in their hands. Valued treasures. Friends. Most of the time, they become longtime friends.

No one is ever asking me for the same title. EVER.

Some customers know exactly what they want and need. They know their section and dart straight over to it. Others, want to experience the store. Many times I’ve heard, “I didn’t plan enough time today. I’m going to come back when I have more time to enjoy myself.” It’s not just a purchase when you’re buying a book, it’s an adventure. A time to escape, and enjoy the moment of finding a new gem. I have a whole new list of books to read that cherished customers have recommended, and I gave them recommendations on books I adore and cherish. They also have left with the characters I’ve fallen in love with over the years.

This is the beauty of Marissa’s Bookstore!