Saturday, June 11, 2016

Powell's City of Books

Portland, OR

I could live here. Maybe in the Rose Room.

Powell's is like an old warehouse. Nothing about it is shiny or polished. The tables in the coffee room remind me of my grade school cafeteria crowded with long tables I'm sharing with strangers who aren't really strangers. They're kindred spirits, book lovers like me. We understand one another. We're instantly at ease in one another's company. You can keep your Barnes & Noble.

My mission for today is to leave with a French book or an Italian book. The selection is better than that at most university libraries. Maybe something by Natalia Ginsburg or Oriana Fallaci. But --more than that-- I want to linger. In my imagination I plot how I could stay past closing. How I could hide in a corner, evade detection, and sleep here. In the morning I'd have coffee and a biscotto for breakfast, greeted by the smiles of other bibliophiles. Only the ghosts of my favotite authors would know...

If the nerves in your fingertips don't scintillate when turning the pages of a book, you can't understand.

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