A Space for All - A Space for Paul

Stories from the Bookshop

A Space for All - A Space for Paul

Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.

Neil Gaiman

I could add many words to the quote above to expand the concept of how stories create connections and provide room for reflections, but Neil says it quite well enough.

The bookshop already has a life of her own, and her essence is deepened by those who bring their stories to her every day, whether it’s a book on a shelf, a couple of friends sharing a moment of their day together, or someone looking for a quiet moment to run their fingers along paper spines.

I wanted to ensure that all felt welcome there because every story is valid. Every story provides another opportunity for connection, pondering, and understanding.

And in that spirit, I present Paul. I had come into the shop early to clean and straighten up the shelves. The door chimed to announce the presence of a head that had popped in, presenting wide, unsure eyes.

“Hello!” I greeted it.

“Oh, hi.” Their eyes shifted about again.

“You’re welcome to come in,” I said, setting my cleaning rag down.

“Oh, I just wanted to see what this place was.”

“That’s fine.”

The door chimed as it closed.

It chimed again as the gentleman came through with a walker in hand. His uncomfortableness was evident as he glanced around at the chairs and shelves, feeling quite in contrast to the aesthetic he walked into.

A conversation is a transaction of words paid for with the currency of time. I had time. He had time. That was all we needed.

This gentleman and I began to chat. I learned he was on his way to the bus stop. He was traveling to visit his mother. He asked if we were like a library, and I shared that we were a bookshop and publishing company. He said he has a book he would love to write. I wanted to hear all about the book – and thus, I heard about him.

This gentleman has a story, and I hope that one day he walks back through the doors of the bookshop on Broadway so that I might be able to share it with you. For now, it’s not my story to tell. What I would like to share is that this gentleman mentioned thinking he would be very unwelcome in a place that looked like this, but he was glad did. And so was I.

Bookshops have a funny way of doing that… Putting everyone who walks in on equal footing.

I would have missed his story if this gentleman had not walked in that morning. I would not have his experience culminating in my mind as I mull systematic issues that contributed to those experiences. The currency of my time would have deflated by spending it just cleaning. And I would not have a new friend named Paul.

A Place for All
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EMAIL

info@wildlarkbooks.com

PHONE

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LOCATION

513 Broadway Street
Lubbock, TX 79401

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©2022 Wild Lark Books
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