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.
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 siren’s song, calling you, calling you,
to become one with the story.