For me, taking a liking to a place usually means it has offered me comfort and a refuge. A haven that de-stresses me and provides an escape from my reality and takes me to another world (no, i’m not talking about LSD).
A little bell tinkles as I push through the doors. A familiar, musky smell hits me.The smell of books. Old books.
Mr Old Books, a tiny book store squeezed in a line of shops and restaurants has been my favourite place ever since I learned to read. Inside is a room exploding with a myriad of worlds, all embedded in the pages bound by hard backs, or paper backs. This shop is my second home; a place where I can browse through piles of books for hours. The books are sorted into their respective genres carelessly, but i don’t mind; I like chancing upon a book that I usually wouldn’t notice.
The shopkeeper sits behind his desk. He’s a friendly chap but is usually too absorbed in his own book to take note of me, as I sit on the warm floor, surrounded by books. (It’d be the perfect job, wouldn’t it? Getting paid to sit in a room with thousands of books. Ahh.)
What I like most about Mr Old Books is how every well-thumbed book has been previously possessed by a complete stranger (I once found a train ticket stub to Haymarket, Scotland in one, probably used as a bookmark by the previous owner!!) I guess it just makes me feel like I’m part of a much greater universe.
Sometimes I’m just really grateful for books because they literally make you forget your worries and care about some fictional character’s instead. You just become so involved in the story, it’s like you’re Harry Potter in HP and The Chamber of Secrets when Voldemort takes him into the past and no one can see or hear him. That’s what it’s like. In my head at least. (I swear I don’t do LSD)