The bookshop is my lunchtime retreat. It’s that place I go when I’m tired and forlorn and work is bringing me down.
I wander among the shelves, tracing my fingertips across the books that line the display tables; reading titles and blurbs and admiring eye catching cover art.
The bookshop is the place where the minutiae of the day can fall away. It’s the place where I feel at peace. All those stories, all those words surrounding me; I could spend hours undisturbed, just roaming.
I could pick up every other book, making mental lists of those I want to read. I circle the shop once, twice, three times, wavering between novels. Obviously I have to buy something, but how to choose?
The bookshop is the place where I discover random stories and unknown authors. I don’t choose the latest bestseller or that book I’ve been meaning to read for months. I pick something fresh, something that reaches out and grabs me.
I walk around the shop holding it in my hands like a talisman as I decide whether to choose something else too. I pick books that are beautiful, or that have poetic titles. I pick books that cry out to me in that moment.
The bookshop is the place that I can’t leave empty handed. It’s the place that centres me and reminds me what’s important.
I walk back to the office clutching my bag, the weight of new books satisfying in my hand. I walk away from the bookshop and I feel like myself again.