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The Used Book Store

Sharing my love of books.

By Niecee MayPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 9 min read

🎶Musical alarm playing🎶

I roll around, reach over and shut it off, yawning and stretching a bit, while smiling to myself. The smell of coffee and old books is in the air.

Between my alarm and my programed coffee pot this feels like the best morning. I love waking up to the smells of this place. I cannot wait to start my day. Some yoga sounds like an amazing morning addition as well. So old girl, get up, use the wash room, and have some coffee, then it's shower and some breakfast before the sun comes up so I can do some yoga and then get the shop opened up.

🔉Purring🔉 "Minx, I hear you happy kitty. Good morning beautiful girl." I say as she climes up onto my bed expectantly. I give her some scratches as I get out of bed and she follows me around rubbing my legs and purring as we move.

"Good morning Pedro." I say walking into the main room of the apartment, I take the blanket off of his cage like I do every morning.

"Good morning Pedro." He responds.

"And how did you sleep last night?" I asked him.

"Need coffee." Came his reply and I cannot stop giggling. No matter how many times he says this to me, I still giggle. I was a mess when I first got him and he helped me set my routine.

"I sure do need coffee Pedro, how about some millet for you this morning?" I ask as he climbs on my shoulder and we go to his millet stash.

"Millet time. Good morning. Happy morning with millet. Morning Minx. Minx treats. Minx treats." He states excitedly. When we arrive he leaves my shoulder and sits on his millet eating perch. I grab and hand him a chunk of millet and then walk over to pour my coffee and fill their various water and feed dishes while I drink my morning brew.

Minx waited patiently for me to fill her dishes and give more scratches. I prep for my breakfast and hop into the shower washing and caring for these unruly curls of mine. I get out and get dressed into my favorite form fitted, green sweater, and the most comfortable jeans, a pair of warm fuzzy socks, and start getting ready.

I part my hair on the right side of my head and pin that side of my hair out of my face but still mostly down and start cooking my breakfast sandwich. Fried egg, still sizzling sausage patty, lightly cooked bacon strips and a gently melted Pepper Jack flavored vegan cheese slice, on a toasted English Muffin, with mayonnaise.

Pedro and Minx join me on the patio to do our morning yoga. The patio is fantastic for reading and doing yoga. It overlooks the courtyard behind the shop and I have oftentimes been able to hear the local children play out there. I see a couple of the neighbors paint out on their patio as well. When I got Pedro I knew I wanted him to be able to be on the patio with me, but I do not believe in clipping wings, so I screened in my patio. I absolutely love it when someone has their friends over and they play their instrument's! It's like having our own private orchestra, I love hearing the woodwinds and brass play as well as the strings.

After yoga is done Minx, Pedro and I head inside again and head down to the shop to open it up. I have collected so many old gems over the years! I have some first prints of old books, as well as some newer ones, but mostly I have a lot of old and rare books. I have been collecting books since I was a small child. I always knew I wanted to own a library, I just never realized how reachable it would be for me. I still smile every time I walk down here and realize I own all of this! I own this shop and every book in it! The thought makes me smile and turn a little pink. Minx finds her favorite spot of sun coming in to nap on, while Pedro moves to his perch and watches me waiting. I walk over to the front door, unlock it and flip over the "See you another time, Sorry we're closed" to the "WELCOME, we are OPEN" side of the sign.

Walking over to a shelf I grab the book I started reading yesterday and place it inside my waitress smock, tying it to my hip. I do a little dusting and organizing and collect the mail. I helped a couple batches of people find some books and add what they purchased to my "needs replaced" list and placed any orders for books that I didn't already have. It's close to closing time and I now have a free moment so it is officially time to separate and open my mail and parcels.

I have been waiting on and expecting a very special book, "Wife and Mother, or Information for Every Woman" and it's supposed to finally be here today or tomorrow, it took me so long to find this copy of the book, one of the first published versions of this book, from the 1800's. I have two parcels to open and I am leaving them for last because I know I will open them and then get mad at myself for not opening the rest of the mail; later, when I do finally remember. This particular book has had so very many versions printed, however I have been looking for one of the first prints. I nearly had a copy a few years back that needed to be rebound but the sellers daughter decided she would re-bind it and keep it for herself. I finally found a copy, and this time it didn't need to be rebound.

I open a couple of bills and toss out some junk mail. I quickly get to the parcels and I have a feeling it's one over the other for various reasons. I open the one that should be for the animals. "Well Pedro and Minx do you think we should have a treat since I'm opening them?" I ask before cutting into the tape.

"Yes please." Pedro twittered. "Merwow" came Minx's reply while she finally left her sun spot to come rub on my legs and purr expectantly. I open their parcel and hand them each a snack from within and set them aside to put away later. I take a deep breath, readying to open what I am hoping is my book, and a customer walks in.

"Hello and welcome! Is there anything specific I can help you find today?" I say without taking my eye off of the parcel in my hand until the last word was out of my mouth.

"I'm so sorry you can finish up with your mail. I don't want to be a bother. I can come back or just look it's ok." Said this very petite, small framed, child sized, female. She seemed like she was a little nervous. She reminds me of the old and less confident me. I remember being like that, until shortly after I bought this place.

"Never a problem, no need to be nervous or afraid. I promise this mail can wait. What can I do for you sweetheart?" I asked with a smile.

She grinned a grin of relief, which made me smile. "I wasn't sure if you would even have it but I hope so I've looked everywhere for an original or close to original printing of the 1864 A Journey to the Center of the Earth?"

"Did you want it in English or in it's original French?" Was my immediate response. As I started looking through my catalogs. Thank goodness for the system I worked long and hard with the IT company to create, just for me. I love a working system. I can find any book on any shelf I have it all mapped out and keep the whole place organized.

"Either would be fine." Came her response and see seemed to be relaxing now and getting a little comfortable.

"I have had a few copies that have come and gone over the years. I am not sure if I have one in stock, but if not I do know of where I can get a few more thankfully. Feel free to look around. These up here are mostly for show, my personal favorites and TBR's but I can always get a new copy or loan them out even, I'll have results shortly." She started looking around at all of the old books. I nearly missed her eyes widening as she browsed and caught sight of one of my personal favorites. "You have Matthew Gregory Lewis' The Monk?!"

"Among others yes. That one is not an original but still an older version." I smiled remembering when I found that copy. I was very excited walking into that market and finding such a gem in such good condition. I almost felt bad for the man selling it. He may not have known what a find he had. Then again maybe he did. "If you like it I don't mind you sticking around and reading it. I do have a newer copy in the back for sale, but this one is a whole different experience." I said with a grin.

"Maybe another day thank you. I have things to do today but I have been looking for Journey for a while and my friend said to try here. She said you are amazing." This is when Minx perked up and started stretching in her sun spot, "Merowow," followed by a bunch of purring. I saw her jump a little.

"Oh hello Pretty Kitty!" She said and giggled a little.

"Hello Minx" Came Pedro's immediate and startling response, as he had been very quiet and mostly still from the moment she walked in. This caused a much bigger jump a small shriek and then a giggle as her body relaxed when she turned in Pedro's direction saw my beautiful Macaw.

"As my bird just scared and informed you, Minx is my cat, and this boy here is Pedro. Pedro my boy you shouldn't be so startling. The best part of both of them is they tag team any rodents and I never have to worry about being alone." I can see my computer is about done searching everything.

"With all these books you aren't alone either. I would love a place like this and Minx and Pedro make the place even more perfect." She smiled and then saw the coffee/tea maker. Noticing her glance, I immediately offered her whatever she wanted from the little snack area I keep for guests.

"My searching is done. I love this system. I have a two different publishing's here in the store, but they are very much newer copies of Journey. Like reprinted in the last 50 years. I can get a newer, but still old, copy here by next week, this would be the fastest. The oldest version available to me is in it's original French, and would take 3 weeks to get it to me. I can get an older version that is in English but it would take 5 weeks thanks to location. Cost is fairly similar for each. Also this is a No-Later-Than time framing too."

"So the decision is 3 weeks and read it in French, or 5 weeks and read it in English." While I was looking at my program she made a cup of tea, grabbed a muffin, and sat down at the little reading table I put together. She was now thinking and eating said muffin when I looked up from the screen. It still makes me smile seeing people enjoy a snack and drink here especially when they have an old book in their hands sitting in that big, soft, bright red, velvety and dark red mahogany reading throne. "I have waited this long I can wait a little longer. I am so surprised you found it. I'm so grateful too!"

"If you need more time to think about it let me know I can save this and order and pay over the phone if you like." I offered.

"I just have to decide if I want to experience it in French, and I really am leaning towards that. I know you close soon, I'm so sorry. You know though the more I think about it, I will choose the French version. I think it would be a really amazing experience, much like your copy of Matthew Gregory Lewis' The Monk" She said. We did the payment portion and I placed the order telling her the expected arrival date. She said she would be back during the day another time to read Matthew Gregory Lewis' The Monk and left after giving Minx and Pedro some attention. Shortly after this Minx, Pedro and I closed up the shop, did some mild cleaning and organizing then headed up to our apartment for dinner and bed.

Young Adult

About the Creator

Niecee May

I'm a Mom of two boys, and I have a love of literature. I'm an open book and love reading and writing. I started writing around age 10. I like the term Dragon Mom as I hoard Books.

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