I LOVE A BOOKSTORE
I love a bookstore any day or any time.
It can be a plush and fancy upscale store in Beverly Hills
where you can order coffee, tea or muffins and sit and sip
while you look through your books,
or an out of the way dusty cubbyhole bookstore in West Los Angeles
—new or used, I don’t mind.
Let me visit a town in Oregon or San Diego or Cincinnati
I’ll find a bookstore (usually in the yellow pages)
and once inside, I aim first for the cookbook section.
Once my arms are laden with books
I ask someone at the desk to hold them for me.
They always say yes; then I check biographies and fiction,
then the bargain books and reduced prices;
you never know what might turn up in remainders.
I have been to bookstores everywhere I’ve traveled;
it’s the first place I want to visit.
No used bookstores? I look up the Barnes & Noble,
Border’s, Dutton’s, anything anywhere. I’m not particular.
The biggest problem I have encountered over the years
has been getting them home.
Packing the books into duffle bags or shipping them back to California.
I lost a box of books this way one year.
Enroute from Ohio to California,
my books were lost in Bell, California.
Somewhere, I know, someone has my box of cookbooks.
Next time I’ll carry them on the airplane with me.
Sandra Lee Smith, April 2008, updated July 1 2019
*The next time I visited Ohio Book Store in Cincinnati
and told them my plight of the lost books,
they said “Oh, we can ship your books home to you!”
and ever since, that’s how my new purchases
have made it back to California.
My most recent trip to Cincy was May, 2019, which included a trip to Ohio Book Store!
Sandra Lee Smith updated 5-14-18
*Another post script – of all the bookstores referenced in the poem, only Barnes & Noble and Ohio Book Store are still in business.