There’s magic in the air, like a soft electric wave, strong enough to give you goosebumps, but perfectly safe otherwise. It’s a thrill, a unexpected excitement, an excited expectation…
It happens every time you walk into one of those magic places that ordinary people call “Second-Hand Bookshop”. I call them Book Cathedrals – yes, even the smallest ones.
The thing is that when you’re there, surrounded by all that paper, all those magical realms and fantastic stories – but even not-so-fantastic stories or not-so-magical realms – nothing can really hurt you, can it? Have you ever been stabbed in a bookshop? Has anyone ever started shooting in a bookshop?
If war broke now and bombs were falling from the sky, I would probably take refuge in a bookshop!
Ok, I might be overreacting here, but I think you get the feeling.
So, it shouldn’t seem odd to hear that I found my safe harbour – my personal Book Cathedral – in a second-hand bookshop just up the road from where I live. It’s called Books For Amnesty and it’s the very Amnesty International bookshop (just when you thought it couldn’t get better).
That’s the main reason why my room is quickly turning into a second-hand library itself… You know, it’s already hard to walk into a bookshop and don’t buy anything, but try working there once a week and watch all those books pass by, never ever keeping one on the side for yourself…
I guess I could limit myself to one or two per month.
However, I usually get one or two per week. If I’m in a hurry and I don’t have time to look around properly.
Am I sorry for this? Not one bit.
And if wars breaks out, it better be on Tuesday morning, because that’s when I’m in my Book Cathedral, setting aside books I really should take home with me…