Thursday, February 21, 2008

They are tearing it down. My childhood. Brick by crumbling, old brick.

The building has been empty for ten years or so. Silent and stoic with a flaking painted sign reading "Regina's Second Hand Books". I would drive past each day and be transported to my childhood. The smell of aging books, the look of shelves floor to ceiling lined with stories and adventures. The nooks and crannies that only a second hand bookstore can have.

My family has a love affair with books. Rarely can we part with them. We have to own them. Even unread (although that is rare) we have to possess them. For me, it all started in this bookstore.

On Saturdays, my family would go to the second hand bookstore. When most kids under 10 were saving their allowance for two cent gum, I was saving mine for dog-eared copies of Louis L'Amour. The store was like a wonder to me. Books farther than I could see or reach and any one of them could be mine. Mine. It was like the library but better. I could keep these. Forever.

My first copy of a Louis L'Amour novel that was truely mine. It cost half of 75 cents. With it's cover yellowing from time and it's pages warping from dampness, I caressed it lovingly as I admired the picture on the front. In the next few years, I would work my way through over 50 of them. I still have them all.

Now there is nothing but a pile of bricks. Soon there will be an office or a parking lot or a house and I will drive by and remember what used to be there. Wonderment.

1 comment:

Crap monkies say "what?"