Monday morning I learned that the independent bookstore where I spent the year of 2008 is closing its doors, on my birthday no less. Sadly, the belt tightening that has people reducing the number of lattes they buy has caused them to reduce the number of books they buy and the place just can't stay afloat. So it will be closing. I'm having a hard time imagining the town without it - even though it was absent all of my growing up years. It was more then a bookstore, it was a social place, a comforting place, an escape, a place that blurred the imaginary and real. I feel for my colleagues there who now are joining so many of the ranks of unemployed. I also cannot help but reflect on how my personal fortunes seem to be in direct contrast with everyone else. I lost my job at the end of 2007. I lost my home. I lost my sense of direction. Etc. And then, just as everyone else started to lose their jobs I was offered a new one in the field I love in a place I love with people I truly enjoy. I am truly grateful for this fact. I feel like I have been experiencing this economic downturn a year ahead of everyone else and now I've gotten back on my feet.
Already I miss the bookstore. The smell of the fresh books, the fireplace with the big wing chairs, the big stuffed pillows in the children's section, the crisp displays, the rhythm of book selling, of browsing, and buying, and enthusiasm.