really like living in the downtown area. Nearby, a shopping district just revitalized. I’ve gotten to know some of the local shops and favor them over the loud, dirty main drag just south of here.
Of course, it isn’t without some pain. I loved Juniors Diner (an eclectic little hole-in-the-wall with good omelets and wide book-friendly booths). And then there was P is for Pie, a great place to end my morning walks. In the latter, the lady behind the counter would always ask what I was reading. We exchanged views on books while my pie slice heated, smiling and just getting along with the world.
Sadly, both those places closed. I’m still suffering withdraw.
And then there is Joybird Books, a neat little used bookshop. I started going for the books, but then the Zen Center started holding Sunday evening classes there and we started going for the sitting. It’s always fun (in a leg-cramping sort of way). But whenever I go in after the shop closes for Zen, I always find another book on the shelf.
And this starts the fight. Owner Andrew just tells me to take the book (even steal it). And, mindful of those other businesses I miss, I always insist on paying. This turns into a weird struggle of a shop owner telling me my money is no good there, and me not engaging in my fantasy (i.e. looting a helpless bookstore).
Then there is the return. Once I finish a book, what am I going to do with it? My shelves are full. And right now, only the best books get a spot on them (such as The Three Body Problem and The Expanse Series). So I bring them back. But now it’s all about credit, or taking another book because I brought one back. And on and on and on.
It’s like I need to Reverse Shoplift to get things done. I have to sneak in with a heavy coat and slip books back onto the shelf.
I don’t know how this hard-eyed contest between myself and Andrew will resolve. Possibly a Zen Koan will form about the shopowner who gives and the shopper who returns. Who knows. I just want to keep the place in business.
And if you want to help out, go check out their shop (there is ice cream a short walk away). You’ll find directions and information HERE. Go in, browse, and pick something up. And don’t take YES for an answer!