Bookshop Sundays

It’s a book-shop kind of Sunday.

Quiet chatter, and whirling grinders tickle my ears. The smell of coffee and books float through the air with each long, slow breathe. I camp out at a small table with a hot tea latte, a muffin, and my little laptop. The window to my right displays a cool gray sky, clouds still heavy from last night’s rain.

I could write at home.

I could sit on my couch or at my desk, with my cat on my lap and a blanket drapped over my shoulders. I could brew my own coffee, or steep my own tea in a painted, ceramic mug. I could play some soothing jazz or relaxing low-fi, and burn a scented candle to create an ambiance- but I don’t. It doesn’t feel right today.

Today, only a bookshop will do.

A bookclub is meeting to my left. Their literary discussion has trailed into pleasant gossip. A couple on a date discuss their interests over coffee in the window seat to my right. Scattered throughout the remaining stables are readers and writers on their self-made islands, single occupants of small tables, ignoring the rest of the world.

It’s a companionable isolation.

We are all here for our own reasons and are content with keeping to our own devices. There’s no forced small talk, or social expectations beyond respecting the boundaries of our neighbors. We all agree to pretend the others don’t exist. We are all joined in a desire to be alone.

There’s no sense of time on a bookshop Sunday.

There’s nothing to do and nowhere to be, but here. There’s no appointments to make, or errands to run. The lighting doesn’t change, and there are no clocks to taunt you with their ticking face. Hours pass without observation: morning to afternoon, afternoon to evening. It is all the same.

My church is among the shelves.

In this hyper-religious community, few choose to observe the sabbath among the stacks. While others sit in the pews, I sit in a cafe chair. The few others who make up the congregation worship in their own way, but we all worship the same diety. For in the beginning was the word, and the word is my God.

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