Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Once there was a girl who saved nickels for precious visits to the bookstore. After hours in the aisles she would cart home treasures and climb the Mimosa in the yard. Nestled beneath its canopy she would read the pages and dream of the world only books could bring her.
Some days she was a writer, sharing her work. Other times she was Harriet the Spy, skulking around scribbling secrets. Sometimes she felt grand, thinking maybe she could make a difference in someone’s life. Once she even imagined shaking hands with a president.
When the girl grew she found a place even better than her tree. It was the world of Books & Books. There she scoured shelves for stories, scribbling secrets at the café which she turned to fiction then shared with people at the very same store.
While most booksellers cared just for bottom lines, Books & Books welcomed all. It inspired her to publish others. They read at the store and the audience smiled. The girl was grateful. She felt she had made a tiny difference. Later she brought her sons to the store. There they shook hands with a president.
The girl marveled at the world Books & Books had brought her. Mitchell Kaplan had created not just a cornerstone of book culture, but the cornerstone of her community. It was a place where dreams came true.