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Passion in a Pocket Part 1

In my distant and murky future I see a brilliant little jewel. It’s a vision of me owning a bookshop that also serves tea and sells pretty little frivolous trinkets. There’s definitely a kid’s corner. I can’t imagine any one bit without the other. It should have candles and flowers for sale too, and a cat who lives in it.

I might even live in it. Why would I leave?

The smell in a bookshop is amazing. I love the smell of paper. There is a very particular smell to new coloring books and another for new crayons, as there is for play dough.  However, a book smell carries nuances of possibility and anticipation and singularity that nothing else comes close to.

When I went into my son’s high tech high school “library” I almost fainted. Where were the books!? There were round couches around round tables full of electrical outlets facing huge whiteboard walls. Kids sat down, plugged in their iPads, downloaded their books, projected essays onto the walls and started reading. Treason! Heresy! And a distinct odor of ammonia.

At the moment, I volunteer in my church’s library, where people donate old worn books from great-grandparents’ shelves. Some ancient tomes have crumbling leather binding and spidery hand written notes on the flyleaf dated 1902. They were treasured keepsakes and respected writings. The scripted signatures are pieces of art in themselves. Penned with proper ink. That’s before keyboards people. And texting. It’s called penmanship and it was a sign of educated upper-class folks. They could read Latin. Can you? No, Googling is not allowed.

Books and I go way back. Not to 1902, wise guy, but back there a bit.

I grew up in a tiny house in a tiny neighborhood under the supervision of a fairly over-protective mum. The only place I was allowed to go on my own was a (yes) tiny library which sat at the top of the tiny hill of our tiny street. Librarians are always wise, are they not? Ours was a tiny lady named Pearla (I’m not making this up folks) who saw a little girl with big dreams, and put the right books into my hands.

Thank you Pearla.

I clearly remember studying and practicing ballet from a book, in our kitchen, holding onto the back of a chair. If you cannot afford ballet lessons, and you want to be the next prima ballerina, you grab a book and get going. When I finally took my first ballet lesson at the tender age of 35, it occurred to me that my dream was much more brilliant than its reality. Oh well.

But the reality would not have been attempted had not a brilliant dream preceded it. And while we wait for tomorrow’s conclusion, I’m wondering…what’s your brilliant little dream?

Published inLiving LargerReading & Writing


  1. Stacy Stacy

    Jolie, I love love love this one! takes me to a wonderful place where I feel warm and happy! Thanks for sharing…

  2. Sarah Sarah

    Can I come and work for you? Your dream sounds so lovely:D. Have you seen, “You’ve Got Mail”? The corner bookstore in that movie was amazing!

  3. Haley and I are on board with the whole “books are better than Nooks” idea. She’s had her Nook for 2 years now and she prefers to hold (and smell) the pages… I get it from her! Let me know when your book shop opens… I will be the first in line!

    • Would you prefer club chairs or beanbag chairs? Haley can name the cat.

  4. Kiki Kiki

    I totally agree. Kati’s college has an IC. When I went to visit, I said, “Where’s the library?” Response? “It’s an IC, Mom. It for computer research and group projects. So sad. There is really something to be said about libraries and true book stores….and a cup of tea.

    • Your first cup’s on the house! 😉

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