Monday, February 9, 2015

You Pave Paradise-La La La!

My mother was an avid reader. I've written before about going with her when I was a little girl to a small bookstore located inside a fancy department store of our hometown. I was writing from memory since I'd never seen a photo of that location because our downtown was leveled in the '70's when urban renewal was the thing to do as shopping centers were springing up all over-changing the way people shopped. A few weeks ago I finally saw a picture of where that amazing little bookstore sat on what used to be our main street full of hustle and bustle with people engaging in conversations and people taking a break for a soda at the soda fountain or lunch where locals gathered. Looking at that worn photo I was saddened to learn I pass by that location quite often and never realized that's where that little bookstore was located. Since finding that out, I've driven by there several times-slowly down to imagine that magnificent department story that no longer exists. There's no evidence it ever existed. There's nothing there at all except empty bottles and candy wrappers and old papers and other bits of trash discarded without thought. It saddens me to think the younger generation will never know what was there. But when you think about it, so many, including the younger generation, now go to the internet for books-or to all sorts of devices void of a front door leading to a little bookstore with a front window full of little window panes where books were displayed in such a way you couldn't wait to get inside and become immersed with books that you could hold and feel and get lost in-then take them home and after reading them, you put them on a bookshelf with your signature inside-claiming it for all time. That's what my mother did with any book she bought from wherever she found it. And I am the lucky one to have many of those books now sitting in my bookcase in the front room-all with her signature.

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