Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Treasure in the Old Bookshop

The shop was long and narrow, dimly lit by naked bulbs dangling from the ceiling. It was a shadowed, solemn, wondrous place, tucked away in a dusty corner of the city where shops didn't sparkle like the department stores over on Main. Mysterious and musty it was; filled with rows and racks and piles of volumes.  Used hardbacks, yellowing paperbacks, comics... all stacked haphazardly and ready for a rummager's quest.

I'd step out of the light of day and onto the squeaky wood floor in search of buried treasure. 
It was my own personal library, and the best part was: I could read the books and then - I could keep them!  No need to keep close tabs on them, no stamps inside warning that this was a "14 day book," no falling in love with a whole fictional family only to have to dump them on a counter at the end of the month.

I was allowed to buy all of the books I could carry, pretty much.. and this because of the kind man who took me to the bookstore: my father, who (okay, I'll admit it) spoiled me.  Rather than leaving me home on a Saturday so he could go rummage for his own treasures at "our bookshop," he patiently took his bubbly little buddy and shelled out who-knows-how-much for mystery stories I would stay up much too late reading.  I think back now and imagine the one sided "conversations" he had to endure on the drives home, as I cradled newfound treasures in my arms (no putting them in a bag for me, no sir) and rattled on about this being the EXACT Nancy Drew I've been looking for and oh LOOK at the green cover on this book it looks JUST like leather and omigosh I once got this one from the library and then couldn't find it ever again and oh Daddy isn't this just the best BEST day?

Today I live surrounded with shadows of our bookshop.  Shadows of a good kind, as I savor the comfort of books lining almost every wall of my home.   Shadows of a better kind, as I thank God for a father who was generous with
his attention and his time.  These shadows of the better kind are ones I hope I've passed along to my own children, and now to my grandchildren as we share games and books and make-believe.  I pray to be generous with my attention and my time, helping them make memory-shadows of their own.

And I live with shadows of the best kind, because the generosity and attention of my earthly father was, itself, a dim shadow of the attention of my Heavenly Father.  

I can only imagine how HE looks upon me when I accept with joy His outpouring of gifts.  Think of how it must please Him when we bubble over with thanks and praise!

There are treasures all around, if I just look for them.  I might spend today doing some counting, and some thanking.   And who knows?  I might even bubble just a bit....


  1. Aren't books wonderful? Dads too, of course :) My parents owned a bookstore when I was young so I've always been a bookworm and my house is filled with books too.

    Great story!

    I love "The Cloistered Heart", Nancy. I just came back from there and wanted to tell you how beautiful BOTH your sites are.

    God bless!

  2. THANK YOU, Mary, so much!

    Your parents owned a bookstore?! Oh, for joy! Such wondrous places. And homes filled with books... how I love to even to walk in their doors...

  3. Nancy,
    What a beautiful Father's Day tribute. I love the description of the bookshop. I could spend hours in a place like that.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Thank you, Karinann. When I want to spend hours in a place like that, I re-watch one of my all time absolute tip-top favorite movies: "84 Charing Cross Rd." Then I go read a book! :)

  5. Awesome post over at Cloistered Heart...thank you for sharing it. This is such a new concept to me but it makes absolute sense...seeing God's will as the *grille* we see through...beautiful!

  6. Thank you, Theresa. I thank God for this way of seeing, which I am still trying to practice after a lotta years - it really does help me. Sometimes I'd like to paint grillwork on my glasses! ( THAT should make for some interesting glances in the grocery store)

    1. LOL! Love that imagery...I think I will join you : )

  7. Nancy, you write so well! No doubt your abilities are partly due to your father's generosity and influence in allowing you to read, read, read! What a nice memory. I do love books, too! I don't think I will ever turn over to doing the Kindle thing. Books are wonderful and I have the hardest time departing with any of my "old friends!"

  8. Monica, thank you for such kind words! I am like you with my "old friends," absolutely. Which is, I guess, why my house looks like a library with a few pieces of furniture in it!

  9. What a wonderful story and what a beautiful tribute.

    Thank you.

    God bless.

  10. Victor, thanks so much for stopping by and for your very kind comment. God bless you, too!

  11. Nancy, what wonderful imagery you have created here, not only of the bookshop, but of your loving father and your gratitude for the treasured time you spent together!

    Thank you for sharing this, it is beautiful!

    1. Thanks very much!! Bookshop days are my favorite childhood memories, as is surely obvious!

      It's probably also obvious that I'm still learning how to do comments (having just opened this blog to them recently)... because I realized, only now, that I can respond by hitting "reply."