By this point I should probably just pack a backpack and move into the bookshop, I tell my friends with a little laugh. It’s a joke, a joke I wish wasn’t necessarily just a joke. Because 80% of the time, I find myself inside these towering walls lined with stiff new books in the centre of the city, tucked away in a blanket hum of shuffling feet and flicking pages and a distant cash register.
Hey where you at, these friends message me. You know, I reply. And in ten minutes, a familiar tap on my shoulder that is leaning against the shelf labeled English Classics.
So you get my point. I spend a lot of time in this bookshop. It’s a second home of sorts here. But even I didn’t know just how much so, until a few days ago.
I instinctively head over to the Academic bookshop one Saturday evening, and snuggle up in my favourite corner: the windowsill sofa behind the children’s books (NB! only my favourite corner when no infuriating, screaming children present). I dive into the book I’m reading and various bits and pieces I’m writing; a healthy while easily wiled away with me utterly and entirely immersed in page after page, oblivious to all goings on more than a meter radius round me. Eventually, my neck starts creaking enough for me to look up and stretch a little. Hmm it’s awfully quiet here, I notice. Too quiet…
It’s eighteen minutes past six o’clock. The bookshop is closed and I didn’t notice and no one noticed me. I sit still for a moment trying to wrap my head around exactly where I am. I am casually sitting unnoticed in a deserted – my favourite deserted – bookshop. The following thoughts enter my head:
- Am I psychic?? Can the universe hear me?…. What.
- An empty bookshop! I can do anything!! Climb the shelves build a fort READ EVERYTHING ALL NIGHT!
- Damn. I’m hungry.
A quick consultation with my (more sensible (less adventurous)) friends lead to the decision that it would be best to remove myself from this bookshop; not get caught on security cameras and get myself something to eat. Shame. I trudge around slowly and down towards the main entrance. There’s the door, it’s like sev- it’s locked. Okay. I am locked inside a deserted bookshop. Interesting. To freak out or laugh out, that is the question. The only thing that feels natural is to sit myself on the floor and pluck my ukulele until a decent answer comes to me. Try all the doors. After some poking around I finally find a back door I can unlock from the inside and I am free!
What an ironic adventure. Maybe it is possible to spend too much time in a bookshop…
I guess I can take this as a lesson; I’ve definitely learned something very important.
Next time you go to the bookshop, pack a sandwich.