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devi42 in bookshop_love

The Shopkeepers

The spirit of a large bookstore (a bookstore that is part of a nation-wide chain) often seems to rest in far off pocket books – they have cash registers instead of hearts, Katherine Kelly would probably say*. Not so with smaller shops – shops which exist on quiet side streets and cling to life in the face of retail adversity.

I didn’t know Irving and Kay when they opened a small secondhand bookstore across the street from my office, but, over the next two years, they became almost as much of a draw as the books they sold.

They remembered what books I liked, what books I brought in, and the company I kept. They would tell me the fates of the books I traded for cash or credit (one poor book was resold three times – two of those times to friends who I would have gladly given it to), point out new books that I would like, and kept me apprised of just how many books my boyfriend was buying a month. A quick nip in for a Nick Hornby book could easily turn into a forty minute chat.

They’re gone now. The store was a part time affair and they had better career opportunities in another city. A lovely woman purchased the small shop and she runs it well. Still, I can’t help but miss Irving and Kay.

Shelves and books were the body, but they were the heart and soul.

* Bonus points if you get the movie reference.


That's a lovely post, Devi!

Irving and Kay sound very nice, and bookish, which is always a bonus! Heh, and it must have been nice to know how many books your boyfriend's been buying! If it were, thoughts along the lines of "I hope he doesn't get more time to read than me!" would soon follow!

I guess You've Got Mail!
It was You've Got Mail :)