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“This is a book store?” the new customer asks in surprise.

“I was just looking at the doodads,” she’s referring to all the collectible and cherished items scattered about to keep the books company.

She pauses thoughtfully, “Well, it’s good to know you have books, in case we ever need one.”

Her husband responds when I ask him what his kids are reading these days, “Well, they don’t read. Except on their phones.”

It’s New Year’s Eve at Reed Books and the Museum of Fond Memories. Lots of browsers are combing the aisles and examining my foster children, the books. Some shoppers are just along for the ride with family and friends, some are here to dive into other worlds, other times, other lives through the page by page surprises awaiting them.

Some shoppers don’t get why anybody would read a book. Others cannot imagine living without a plethora of reading matter…because, well, reading Matters to them.

I cherish customers who have fallen in love with reading. I cherish those who are beginning a flirtation with literature. I cherish readers who are returning to reading after years of distraction, decades of losing their way. I even cherish this rural husband and wife who do not read at all. I hope they have found something as thrilling and mind-boggling as reading, to while away their years. I can hope, can’t I?

I am beginning my 37th year as curator/owner/founder/janitor of Reed Books. I operate this lovely business out of sheer hope, sheer enthusiasm, sheer refusal to imagine a world that does not know what true love of reading is like.

To paraphrase Henry Standing Bear, It’s another beautiful day at Reed Books’ continual soiree. Come on down and drink deep of the Pierian Spring.

Convince me that you might be the visitor who just found out that you could use a book.

And tell me where else in the world  such characters as Alexander Pope and Henry Standing Bear would hang out and find excitement in just rubbing elbows with literati and illiterati with such ease


© 2017 A.D. by Jim Reed

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