The gentle brushing sound of pages being carefully turned,
The creak of a newly-glued spine being opened,
The nearly-silent padding of perusing feet on old grey carpet new ten years ago,
Geometric patterns in shades of grey that could just as easily be found on an old sweater in your dad’s closet,
The clicking of a desktop keyboard and the ringing of an old beige telephone with a spiral chord the color of senior citizen, padded Velcro shoes,
Theatre and Plays to my right,
Travel to my left,
Food and Cooking in front of me,
Literature at my back.
“Hey Gina, do we have a copy of . . .” inquired a tall bespectacled man.
“Yes, we have two editions available at the moment . . .” responded a kind-faced woman.
The back and forth telephone exchange between two workers at opposite ends of the bookstore,
The sound of mice being run over in photography,
“Spray some WD-40 on those wheels!”
—If my dad were here.
The shy, polite bookstore worker who always excuses herself before walking in your line of sight.
It’s barely audible,
The uncertain “Excuse me” tagging onto the end of her breath.
This place is an ever-changing time capsule.
A 12 Vol. British Encyclopedia set for $1500 lies untouched behind the counter.
Books tripping over one another up the staircase leading to the offices,
A grand, polished wood ladder reigns supreme over the chaos.
It smells like knowledge in here,
An overcast day and a window seat in November,
Like fat sweaters that could eat a child.
A grand intersection of the Universe,
Diggory Kirke and Polly Plummer know.
Choose a world,
The life of any character and a thread in time you can’t even imagine.
Through the bookstore’s windows lies the present.
Dust has settled on the windowsill,
Fingerprints and splotches on the glass,
It’s the Uptown Exhibit.
The interior of this bookshop is the all-access hub.
Run your fingers along those spines.
You’re a chiropractor now,
A time traveler,
A binger reader,
Welcome to Magers & Quinn.