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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday's Child

I am writing this because I don’t want to forget that I once was young and full of dreams. In the early 1970’s, while I was busy ‘putting my husband through college’ working in a law office, we would occasionally visit a town 50 miles away. It was double the size of our college town and though it would always be another farm town, it had its very own small bookshop. Sure, you could pick up books at K-Mart or the university bookstore or even at the adult bookstore, but nothing like this little shop was to be had where we lived.

Not only did this shop sell hardbound books in its long narrow room but also sprinkled between the shelves were little areas devoted to hand-thrown pottery from local kilns. Large old storefront windows allowed the maximum amount of that precious north light to bath the store. And best of all, chairs were available to sit and read. Of course I did buy one book in spite of our lean financial status, Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet that became the bible of the organic food movement.

After my very first visit to this bookstore—its name escapes me—I promised myself that this is what I’d like to do with the rest of my life when it was my turn to have that life was have my own little bookstore. I would name it Saturday’s Child because weekends were so precious to me. I would furnish it with large lights hanging from the ceiling like I’d seen in the railroad depot, local pots—maybe even some of my own, imagine that! —and best of all I would find the largest, plushest leather armchairs with reading lamps to set near the door. That would be how visitors to my Saturday’s Child would be welcomed.

My plan for my own shop kept being pushed behind in line by life: dear children, detours of depression, the oddest jobs, school, libraries and more living. Little did I know back then that these brave little shops would be nudged out by big box bookstores. And as a gift for that young woman in Idaho who once had a plan, I periodically revisit my copy of the book 84 Charing Cross Road about a writer in New York and her lifetime relationship with a London antiquarian bookstore. The photo below is from Charing Cross Road in London.

I’ve kept my promise to always stop at bookstores on the main streets of any town I visit, in homage to big plans, the small bookseller and with a fond memory of my Saturday’s Child.

Study more plans at Sunday Scribblings.
Y

15 comments:

Nara Malone said...

What a lovely picture you painted. I wish you could work that dream out somehow, or at least a variation of it.

floreta said...

yes its always good to shop mom and pop no matter what! and there's a different feel to those small, quiet bookstores that i love

Old Grizz said...

Alas the ways of mom and pop can no longer compete with the big dogs. I love your idea and hope there are still some available when you are able to follow your plan

anthonynorth said...

I hate shopping, but I always like to visit a bookstore. Marvellous places.
Enjoyed this.

i beati said...

Remember that story so well. and practically every bookstore in every town I ever stopped in across America. I alway slove finding treasures....

Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful plan - books play such an important part of life and the comforting feel of reading near huge windows in an easy chair is an enticing one. Love this post!

quin browne said...

it was always my father's dream to have a book store...but, he knew he'd end up reading everything there, and not wanting to sell a thing.

thanks for the memory.

AD said...

really a neat plan :)
loved your post!

The Bigger Plan

Poopsie aka Blue said...

As one who loves, books and worked for a while in a family run bookstore, this story I found fascinating.
At least you had dream too.

Love
Blue

BJ Roan said...

Like you, I try to visit the little book stores whenever possible. Your plan was a good one, but as they often do plans change to make room for life.

Julie Schuler said...

Lovely post. I was always bent of improving my own library, I think I would be much to covetous of the books to have them go out the door!

Tracey said...

Oh that's a beautiful, heart-breaking, inspirational story you tell...just wonderful!! I love reflecting back on past memories or dreams...

linda may said...

I want to go to your shop adn sit under those bog lights and thumb throughm those books and look at the pots, it sounds wonderful.

linda may said...

oops, sorry about the mistakes in that comment!
Try and,big and through. :)

Dee Martin said...

I would come to your bookstore. You would probably have to run me off! Wonderful dream :)