I adore second-hand bookstores, and I am not surprised they are a popular backdrop for stories at present. There is something magical about stepping into these literary Alladin’s caves. This poem was inspired by both personal experience and also an entry in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows – vellichor – that attempts to capture the essence of a used bookstore in a single new word.


Discarded treasures


Breathe in and taste

the wistfulness coalescing like mist

above over-flowing shelves

of once-loved books

now cast adrift in the paper waves of

the ancient bookstore.


Let your eyes feast

upon this library of discarded delights

enveloping far more words than anyone could ever read

in a single lifetime.

Each tome infused with the passage of time

And the scent of history.


Step into bygone years

as you lift a chosen volume from its resting place

bringing into the light that which the author abandoned

many years ago.

Hear the groans of pleasure

as pages unfold like wings, and the forgotten tale bursts forth

from its time-bound prison.


Embrace the temptation

of this hidden treasure, glistening with thoughts and dreams,

unchanged since the day

paper and ink united to capture them forever,

in a sirenā€™s song, calling you, calling you,

to become one with the story.