The Man and the Bookstore

Ah, how pleasant it is to lazily explore the streets and shops and sights of a new place without the demands of time and work. On one July morning I took to Lisbon’s streets. Having filled up with a splendid cup of coffee (for a mere €1), I popped into a shop offering a substantial collection of Ports (I’m no Port fan but I had gift-buying duties to fulfil). I exited and continued along the street. There was little to excite until I arrived at the entrance to what appeared to be a small bookstore, inside of which sat a large desk piled high with books. Normal enough for a bookstore, though in this case the desk, with a man behind it beavering away doing something or other, also looked to be where people paid for books. Plenty of books on offer, it seemed, but minimal space to put them all. It was a quirky-looking scene that, to my mind, brimmed with character, busyness, history, life. I couldn’t help but enjoy it. The books were all stories in their own right, but it was the story that informed this setting that caught my wondering imagination. I wanted to stop, take it in, grab a picture. But it felt weird to do that. I could have done the more sensible thing of walking in for a browse but I didn’t. I am not entirely sure why not. I think it may have something to do with wanting to keep the scene shrouded in some kind of mystery. So I walked on. It even feels weird to be writing about such an uneventful happening. You will have probably switched off by now. And yet in ways I cannot adequately put into words, it inspired something. It’s lovely to see what comes into focus when we let our eyes roam. And even more lovely is the multitude of different impressions such sights can unexpectedly leave on us.



4 thoughts on “The Man and the Bookstore

  1. I know I’m nearly a year late lol, but I know precisely what you mean. I love people watching and when you spot something as if by chance you sometimes see into a whole different world and someone else’s life. It’s capturing a whole existence in a tiny frame, a moment that cannot be repeated but where you get to step into someone else’s story for a brief second. Fascinating.

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