“What can I find for you?

It wasn’t the usual “How can I help?” But we weren’t looking for any particular title. We didn’t come here on a mission – we came here to wander.

Booklovers Paradise was somewhere between book selling and hoarding. I still don’t know why some book people stock, stack and pile the way they do – I’m guilty of that myself. But if I thought about it, I would guess it’s like trying to get as many into the lifeboat as possible. And here, the survivors huddled together on tables, chairs, shelves and any other flat or stable surface available.

Titles ran vertically and horizontally, left to right and right to left, upside and down. With a long experienced kinship with chaos, I carefully picked my way thru the piles slipping in between stacks of old Argosy magazines, lithography textbooks and museum guides, and finally settled into a section dense with photography and artwork titles. Overwhelming would be an underwhelming way to put it. I managed to slip out a Berenice Abbott book and nested myself into a corner without having the entire pile crumble to the floor.

If the internet is about distraction, this was about home. A place to sit undisturbed, surrounded by the familiar and the odd peace to be found amid words and images written then lost, and found again…

It was just about books. And another ordinary day…