Fantasy At The Old Book Corner

For Poets United Thursday Think Tank prompt: Above Photo & Reading

Fantasy At The Old Book Corner

At my desk,
would hear a thump
from up on the mezzanine.

Have to go investigate,
maybe late customer
having trouble putting
a book back in proper place.

Climb stairs to find empty
space, no human present,
just a book lying face down
where it fell, or had leapt
to floor on own initiative.

Would replace it, then
slowly descend back
to desk, while wondering:

Had someone gotten
so drawn in by whatever
story was unfolding
that they boldly slipped
between pages, like Alice
finding Wonderland,
but unlike her perhaps,
a certain unwillingness
to ever return?

Elizabeth Crawford 7/7/11

Process Notes: As soon as I saw the photo, I immediately thought of the three or four times this actually happened during the eight years I managed a New/Used bookstore. As a lifelong reader, as well as a writer, it wasn’t difficult to imagine just such a thing taking place. Sometimes reading is an absolute necessity, sometimes a total escape, or maybe always a bit of both?

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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12 Responses to Fantasy At The Old Book Corner

  1. Old Ollie says:

    excellent – love this narrative

    Thanks Ollie, there was a mess of knowledge in that old book store.



  2. amy trumble says:


    Amy, glad you enjoyed it,



  3. Yes indeed. I always wanted to work in a library. Of course the reality is so much different than the fantasy. I love the smell of books. But truth is, if anyone bought me back a book that had its pages turned at the corners or had been written in, I’d feel a dreadful urge to slap them for being so uncaring about that treasure that they had temporarily in their possession….. Well, I wouldn’t slapt them really but… I really do dislike people who turn the corners of a page when a simple piece of paper would suffice as a bookmark.
    Gosh, I’ve written a story here….LOL

    Lovely piece of writing, as you can see, it invoked some thoughts with its imagery. 🙂

    Daydreamertoo, actually I did work in the library when I was in high school. And because I went to parocial gradeschool, I had it drummed into me that books were never to be defaced and to do so was tantomount to a mortal sin offense. Abided by those rules until I went to college in my late thirties. Felt delightfully wicked making notes in my textbooks, lol. The eight years in the bookstore were full of wonderful advantages, balanced by everyday drudge work. But that is life. Thanks for feeling free enough to make such a delightful and honest comment,



  4. Laurie Kolp says:

    I’d love to work in a library, too. I love the language/ style in this piece, Elizabeth.

    Laurie, I thought that it was a bit too prosey, but it was what came to mind as soon as I saw the prompt. I find it’s a good idea to go with those first responses. I enjoyed the opportunities available both in the library and the bookstore, but the work could be quite boring, although in the bookstore situation, I met a wonderful variety of very interesting individuals. Thanks for taking the time to read,



  5. Elizabeth,
    Your words caught the ‘feel’ of being surrounded by books, with a little bit of mystery attached!


    Eileen, had a good friend who was also a writer and we would create stories about the people who slipped into those pages, creating environments and characters which they might choose to portray. And I have always enjoyed being surrounded by books, so much to learn, so little time, lol.



  6. I love this poem about books. They are such treasures. Once a Vancouver singer who had been dreaming of an African song, had the same thing happen to her in a bookstore: a book fell open to a page with a shaman’s name on it…….that event took her to Africa to find the shaman, a story in itself, and when she sang the song she was given in a dream (by an old woman who looked like an elephant), the shaman told her that was their song, the song they sang when they went to Spirit. When she described the woman, he said that was his grandmother. Fascinating, truth is more amazing than fiction, you cant make this stuff up!!!!!!

    Thank you so much Sherry. I am a staunch believer in following the signs and symbols that are ever present around us. Untold times, those signs and symbols have come from a book I just happened to be reading that spoke directly into some circumstance I was dealing with and had questions about. Synchronicity never fails to amaze me. It always feels like a bit of magic, reaching out to touch me.



  7. Isabel Doyle says:

    great poem and fantastic ideas

    Isabel, thank you. Writers are creative individuals, always weaving yet another story,



  8. I love everything about this poem, Elizabeth. That must have been a wonderful job 🙂


    It was and it wasn’t, Pamela. My boss was an English professor at the University I had attended. He was all about English Lit, I was definately into American. The few times he read something I had written, his favorite comment was, “Cute.” That was until the Grammy Nomination. Then he used every trick in the book for free advertisement for the store, and was not pleased when I started teaching at the same University. As they say, that’s life.



  9. earlybird says:

    Love this idea – a reallly really good book does do that, doesn’t it. You want to slip between the pages and never come back.

    Agreed Earlybird. I hate getting to the end of a really good story, feel such a let down because I want to stay inside those pages. But, there is always the next one. Thank goodness for prolific writers, yes? Thanks for stopping by,



  10. Poets United says:

    love the allusion to Alice in Wonderland – a great piece

    Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment,



  11. CC Champagne says:

    Ohhhh… Love this! My imagination is going mad trying to figure out what happened next… *smile*

    Guess you’ll have to buy the book, CC. Sorry, couldn’t help it, lol. I have occasionally thought of doing a series of short stories based in that concept. But, poetry is far too satisfying. Maybe, someday, she sighs.



  12. Ella says:

    I loved your poem; I have always wanted to work in a book store. I did volunteer in my favorite library for a bit! I would have to read that page, looking for a sign 😀 This was so inventive; it captivated magic~

    I so agree with you, reading is for anytime! It just strikes me as odd that we have a “summer reading list and it is always considered a hobby in winter, at least so our media reports 😀 We know better ;D

    Ella, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to read and comment. Books have always given me a sense of freedom, and even more so when I find that bit of magic within those pages. Reading isn’t a hobby, for me, its a life long journey with a tremendous number of diverse tangents, lol. Even one small nugget means time well spent.



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