For YEARS, there has been a little used bookstore on this strip and for all the times I’ve been by, it’s never once been open. You just know from the outside that if you could get in that door, you’d be knocked over by the heady aroma of mildewy paper or paper mites or whatever it is that makes that smell one equates with anticipating a really good story.
Ten minutes early for my dentist appointment, and that door is OPEN. Even better, there’s a cute little pooch outside waiting to usher me in. The book smell can’t beat the smell of Artemis, I guess, because he’s my new best friend. The bookstore is full of people, too, which is easy because it’s cozy small but still extra exciting. I chat with the owner and it turns this old store is new to her. Like 3 months or so. Being open seems like a big step in the right direction and she promises they’ll do so often. So often, it’ll be every day but Mondays. If you’re in the ‘hood, it’s called Cliffside Village Books.
You just know this is going to be a lucky day. I peruse but one shelf when my eyes light on this lovely book. 1950s. The dude on the cover has the pointy goatee and all. It’s $3, which is just about all I have in my wallet.
I hustle over to the dentist’s then, to sit in the waiting room on purpose, so I can look at my treasure. I go right to a story with “Shooting-Match” in the title and I’d have to say the author knew a thing or two about archery. Which is really neat. It makes me think back to a women’s studies course I took where they talked about the value of Harlequin romances for housewives. They were always set in foreign places, and the people would be doing exotic activities, so the reader probably WAS enjoying the tawdriness but it was also making her a little more worldly as she read. I mean, it’s trite to say that books offer you a glimpse into different worlds but it’s neat to think about it in practice.
If you never held a bow but you only read the following, I think you’d get a pretty rich idea of the experience and the language is kind of nice and it makes the archery sound so important. Yay, books!
“In the great tent, the archers were gathering by twos and threes; some talking loudly of the fair shots each man had made in his day; some looking well to their bows, drawing a string betwixt the fingers to see that there was no fray upon it, or inspecting arrows, shutting one eye and peering down a shaft to see that it was not warped, but straight and true, for neither bow nor shaft should fail at such a time and for such a prize.” Pyle, Howard. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman Publishing Company, 1955.