My friend, "Cathy" is very aware of my love of books and my passion for helping people make connections. She knew I would enjoy her tale about a recent trip to her local Borders on a Saturday night and I am sure you will also.
I wanted to read a client's book to get a better sense of her content and as the evening approached I had a need to be among people. Hey, I'm single; it's Saturday night, why not go to the bookstore, right?
The place was hopping -- lots of aisle shoppers and the café was packed. The energy was good. As I surveyed the land I spotted an open chair between the book stacks. It was the computer section. There were lots of large books about programming and countless yellow and black Dummies books. This was not the place for me.
I found a nice chair against the floor-to-ceiling windows with other fellow readers. It was far away from the grinding of the espresso machine and close to the checkout counters. "I can help the next guest." Bravo! They had finally gotten away from their traditional "Next in line" screech and chosen to embrace the customer as a guest with an offering of assistance. No longer did they announce to the entire store that yes, indeed there was a line. Nice job.
As I got settled in I noticed I was in the romance section. I have never been a romance novel fan but the book shelves were full of brightly colored covers donned with shirtless men. So that is what the Chippendale's do when they are not dancing. This was the place for me.
It was great to see so many people buying several books at once. Even more impressive was how many single (by themselves or unmarried -- not sure?) people were there, in a bookstore, on a Saturday night enjoying a good read or the free wifi. So this is where all the readers are!
My neighbors were all engaged in their books and a nice looking, tall gentlemen had chosen to take the bench next to me. Hmm... I might have stumbled upon something here. Occasionally he laughed out loud (an actual chuckle, not an LOL text) at something he read and I found that endearing.
Did a huge truck just hit the building? Simultaneously everyone in my corner looked up and within seconds the floor and chairs started to shake. I was questioning my choice to sit next to the windows when they began to rattle in their frames. It was not a truck, but another earthquake. The chatter began among us, guessing about the magnitude while members of our pack checked the status online. "Tall Cutie" had been beat out by "laptop guy" in finding out the true magnitude. I took the opportunity to ask him what the final score of the Padres game was. Hey, I was truly interested and it was a pretty good question to ask a nice man with an iPhone. "I have an app for that" he replied and within a few seconds was proud to be able to provide the score, along with a few stats added in.
After a while each of us packed up our things and said goodbye to our reading-mates. It was a cheerful, energetic time well spent. So next time you want to be surrounded by people who share your love of reading, I suggest you stop and smell the books.
P.S. Tall Cutie, if you are reading this you know where to find me this weekend!
Indeed! Go the bookstore people! You never know what interesting books (and dates) you might find!
Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: www.HowToWriteMyBook.com
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