The abracadabra ampersand
The books, of course, are just the half of it. There is an ampersand that joins Books and Books, and it has come to be a kind of totem that represents a union of a deeper sort. The abracadabra ampersand, symbol of the magic door that opens to community.
All the more remarkable given that it is here in South Florida, a part of the country where presumably there is no strong sense of community. Books & Books is the village well, the gathering place for a most diverse, disparate and far-flung network of people. We don’t even all know each other but we are drawn together, and not merely by a love of reading but by something more fundamental—something as elemental, perhaps, as the water in that well.
Only connect, said Forster. And so we do. The sustenance we take and the succor we find is in the sharing of ideas. It is a connection that grows stronger, deeper and more satisfying the more we come to the well. Can we achieve great things because of it? Perhaps. But more important is simply knowing that we can achieve.
Most infrastructures in a community grow weaker the longer they exist. But the infrastructure of ideas grows only stronger. The well simply never runs dry. And the magic door is always open.
Editor, Levenger Press
author of Words at Work