What is a Bookstore?

Asked to describe my local bookstore, I realized I am unaware of any other than my home.

Words rule here; ideas are the stewards; paper does the dirty work; cloth holds things together; shelving makes up the infrastructure.

It is a semi-socialist organization. While all are considered equal, at least in the pursuit of happiness, there is a hierarchy of beauty and historical significance. There is some seasonal and cyclic variations in perceived valuation but those held in the highest regard continually maintain their social ranking. These are given certain prime real estate, no extra charge.

Resident locations can be troublesome. One which claims to be a philosopher when registering decides it is a psychologist when picking a residence and is not found residing where the register indicates when it is time for them to move out. Size also impacts this confusion. Not all locations support all body types, only some residences can accept the largest, and some dwellings can accept only the smallest. So, some must live where their size dictates rather than rubbing corners with their professional comrades. Noting their dimensions when they are registered can help indicate their address. However, best to stick to the objective measurements, e.g., 12” x 10”. Subjective descriptions like giant, squat, or elephant folio, even miniature, might offend and lead to them hide.

Sometimes management swears that someone has moved without notice. “I know they originally moved in here with the artists.” Later they may be discovered hanging with the Buddhists. But, with only one local mover and no tourists, they could not have moved on their own?

While management is often sad to see a resident move out, it is always welcome. They do not pay for their stay until they leave and there is always a backlog of new occupants stacked up waiting to move in. Admittedly, in this community the backlog does not really depend on lack of openings. Management spends more time advertising its accommodations and committing to new residents than it does registering guests.

In some ways the gatherings of words and ideas residing here are similar to their two-legged aficionados. They are full of ideas, most of which have little significance, they seem to think a lot of themselves and like to spruce themselves up in ways which bare no reflection of their content. They also tend to announce the name of their creator, in who’s likeness, it can be said, they were made. Their readers too reflect their maker but prefer to hide from their debt. Both take on a life of their own after their birth. Most individuals of both literary and peopled worlds live driven by the winds of circumstance. Few are truly in control or conscious of their lives and actions. Some say this is never true for these so called ‘books,’ but they fail to prove this claim.

One thought on “What is a Bookstore?”

  1. Regardless of how we describe books or reading, it is none other than time. To understand fully the true enjoyment of reading books is to understand ultimate reality. To understand ultimate reality is to understand the true Self. By the way, perhaps this is what Jimmie Dancing Bear experienced in this moment of insight, when one “casts off body/mind and starts writing one’s own story”.

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