Brick and Mortar Bookstore

I’m looking over a sea of books that reaches to every possible edge, stacked on shelves which are stacked on an expanse of floor. Within a 30,000 square foot space, I can see 6 people browsing the store and making their decisions about which book they’ll go home and order on Amazon. A mom picks through children’s books and finally settles on a Mercer Meyer book, perhaps hoping that her kid will finally submit to brushing his teeth. A man that looks like Harry Potter’s lesser known brother, Bill Potter, is talking quietly on his phone while he wanders up and down the aisle of books about web design. A daddy and his daughter are slowly working through the best-seller tables, always with an eye on the next stack. A girl flips through magazines with general malaise, consulting a hand-written list with growing boredom.
The lady with the knee brace is obviously a search party, looking for someone and trying to peer over the short shelves, despite her shorter disposition. She is walking too swiftly for a person wearing a knee brace, perhaps driven by the urgency that comes with the feeling that she lost him, this time in a book store.
He’s looking at maps. His leather coat has an international flare, as if he’s planning a motorcycle tour through Belgium. Who knows? Maybe not even he does. Knee brace breezes past him and continues the search, so it’s obviously not him. Looks like it will be a motorcycle trip for one.
A woman with a nagging purse is peering, head cocked, at the spines of graphic novels. She takes a book off of the shelf but does not merely judge it by its cover, taking the time to judge it by thumbing through some pages in the middle. If she pauses long enough mid-flip, she ends up turning the book over and reading the back cover, using her free hand to push a chunk of hair out of the way.
Motorcycle Leather is now rambling through the sports & fitness category, stopping again to take a right turn into the travel section. Something pulls him back to this section, as if an irresistible power is whispering that he should expand his horizons and finally have that mid-life crisis that so many of his friends did back in the 90’s.
A bookstore employee squeezes behind Motorcycle Leather, wheeling an empty hand cart as if it will bounce customers out of the way as he makes yet another trip to the front of the store. He’s probably the guy who put those travel books there in the first place, one night, after everyone left. And he will probably be the one who rearranges them again before the day is done.
Graphic novel girl is checking out, having finally found what she was looking for. Would she like to join the rewards club and get 10% off? Probably not, what with the whole bankruptcy thing and all.
Daddy and daughter have left the store. They did not buy. They did not join the rewards club.
Bill Potter disappeared, too. Perhaps he used his powerful rewards club card to pull this off?
Mom puts the Mercer Meyer book on a shelf in the travel section, a section that is now missing its best customer of the last 20 minutes. Cart guy sees what happens when mom puts the kid’s book in the travel section, exhales heavily and makes a note to grab it on the next trip. The wheels of the cart squeak loudly, which was much easier to ignore now than it was when his shift began.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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