Rediscovering The Neighborhood Bookstore

A few days ago I did something I haven’t done in a long time–walked to my neighborhood bookstore, Sandmeyer’s.

I love the hardwood floors in Sandmeyer’s. Some boards creak when you step on them. It also smells like wood, a smell I associate with books and therefore love.

There were two reasons I hadn’t visited there in forever.

Drifting Away From The Bookstore

One reason is that I’ve spent since April 22 recovering from a broken foot.

A lot of that time I was in casts (photos of the pink and orange casts are included in previous posts here and here) and on crutches. But now I’m walking on my own two feet again. It’s a big part of my physical therapy.

While stuck on crutches, ordering online made life much more manageable. From vitamins to socks for my removable cast to a pretty blank journal (shown at left), I relied on deliveries for almost everything.

The second reason I haven’t been to the local bookstore in a long time is that for most of the years I practiced law I worked late at my office each evening and worked weekends.

That schedule meant I was rarely free when Sandmeyer’s–or any neighborhood retail store–was open.


A Tale Of Two Journals

I decided to walk to Sandmeyer’s–about a mile round trip–and buy a new blank book/journal. I use them both for scrawling notes about first drafts and rewrites and for writing a page or so each morning about what I’m grateful for.

What I found was different than what I’d seen online. At first I wasn’t happy.

I loved the cover for one of the journals. But I flipped to the back to look at the price. And I put it back down.

Which was kind of crazy.

It was $12.95, about $7 more than I’d paid for the previous journal, but not a fortune. Still, I didn’t really need this journal. I could staple scrap paper together or buy a cheap spiral notebook. So I almost left without buying.

Inside The Bookstore

Instead, I examined the journal.

I felt the heavy cover, one that won’t bend or fold like the one I’d bought online. I turned pages, thinking how it would lie flat because it’s spiral bound. I saw the inside pocket. (There’s no pocket in the previous journal I bought.) Sometimes when I travel, I write on scrap paper. With the pocket, I could store those pages in the journal.

Finally, there were far more lines per page than in the previous journal, both because the pages are larger and because the lines are closer together.

Most of all, I loved being able to see the lines I’d be writing on and feel the book I’d be holding.

I bought it. Now each time I look at it, I feel happy.

I think I’ll be walking to Sandmeyer’s more often.