I’m back at the wee cafe in Barnes.  Different seat, different perspective.  Same parking lot.  A man, with white hair is looking through a book that he’s not going to buy, an older woman is eating and someone is reading magazines in the transportation section.  Valentine’s Day cookies are 50% off, at the counter, but no one is buying them because they are big hearts, with heavy pink and yellow frosting on them.

I just picked up small blank Moleskine journals, so they will fit into my purse.  If I want to carry my regular ones, I need a bigger bag and that’s not good because I end up filling it with all sorts of things and then it becomes too heavy to actually carry.  I’m not sure how the small ones will work, since I tend to draw and write in a big way, but I’m giving them a shot.  Moleskine journals are fabulous.  The pages do crinkle when I do watercolors, but that’s fine with me.  The journals are lightweight, the pages can be torn out, and there’s a pocket flap in the back.  Artists have been using them forever.  Van Gogh and Picasso, used them.  I’ve tried a LOT of things and these are the best by far.

It’s quiet in here, right now.  Someone  is singing, THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD, and a man is using the PA system to tell us the virtues of THE NOOK.  Someone left a stack of books on one of the cafe tables.  They all have to do with buying stocks and stock analysis.  The person who left them there apparently feels that someone else should clean up after him/her.  Some guy just ordered an almond croissant and a large something.  He’s holding 4 books on travel.   To be honest, I barely look at people but when I’m in a bookstore I sometimes look at their books, wondering if they are kindred spirits, or strangers from a different genre.

I come to Barnes to recharge, to soak up the paragraphs, sentences and words.  I come here to walk among the pages and bindings, to see cover art, and to jot down a line or two of my own, now and then.

More people are coming into the store and that makes me happy, since it’s the last bookstore around here.  I get frustrated when I see people read things and then put them back.  So many people complain about the lack of bookstores but they buy on line and they don’t support the brick and mortar shops, so they can stay alive.  You can’t have it both ways.

The flap on the trash container has, THANK YOU printed on it in large letters.   Politeness is never wasted.  Being polite holds civilization together, I think that’s why things are out of control right now.  Manners seem to be falling by the wayside.

The man in charge of the music section just sat down and had a cookie.  He made a call, then went back to work.  He knows a lot about music, I’ve spoken to him a couple of times.

Cookies are one of the more delightful things in life.  Treats of any kind can brighten a person’s day.  It’s a shame that people are afraid of sugar and yummy things, now a days.  People are trying to controlling everything they do.  That often happens when things in the world are out of control…people become fixated on controlling themselves.  No one lives for ever.  Some people never live at all but they have a lot of lists and rules they can tell you about.  People are becoming afraid of food.  Debbie has a friend who only orders hot water when they go out to eat because she’s terrified to eat anything she doesn’t make herself.  She actually has two friends like that now.  The insanity is spreading.

Nuances are amazing things.  They are tiny signals that make us aware that we are different from each other.  They let us know whether someone is, or isn’t, from around here.  We only recognize them in others, like our accents.  We don’t have accents, everyone else does. We are each different, down to the tiniest detail.  Everything we have experienced makes us different from everyone else.  Sometimes we can’t even tell what’s different about a person but we KNOW that they have just shown us that something that triggers that thought.  I think it’s incredible how finely turned we are to things like that.  We don’t even know we are doing it.  Our brains just recognize the nuances and give us a shove.  How cool is that!


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22 Responses to Barnes…

  1. Rising Hawk says:

    I love Moleskins – I used the lined, hardbound ones usually. I need to get over to Barnes again. It’s a 45 minute drive for me. But, there is a cool, independent coffee shop in old town that’s about a 7 minute trip 🙂 Enjoy your day!

    • I use the unbound, unlined moleskins the bound ones are too heavy for me. LOL I use unlined because I draw in them as well as write. Forty-five minutes is a long drive, so stock up when you’re there:) You’ll have to describe the coffee shop. it sounds great. Tell me about it. Barnes is abut 7 minutes away from me so I’m lucky:) You have a great day as well.

      • Rising Hawk says:

        The coffee shop is called Raven’s Nest, piles of books on a table in the back – always colorful lights or glass decorations hanging and that smell of delicious coffee permeating everything. Big, fat pastries and home-made quiches. Haven’t been there since before Christmas. They have a little couch as well as two-top tables. It is like a cozy old bookstore, but a coffee shop

      • That sounds too good to be true. A book/coffee whop and it’s INDEPENDENTLY owned. You hit the jackpot on that one. Maybe it’s time for a visit:) Home made quiches, yummy pastries, books colorful lights…perfect. Thank you for the wonderful description.

      • Rising Hawk says:

        Come on down! 🙂

      • Wow, thank you so much. I’m not sure where you are exactly but I bet it’s more than a 45 minute drive. LOLOL

      • Rising Hawk says:

        Culpeper, VA – a wonderful, revitalized little old town. Definitely more than 45 minutes. I’m guessing 6-8 hours

      • Hmmm, a bit far for a cup of coffee but perhaps, if I don’t have anything to do on a Thursday, I’ll hop in the car and see how it goes. LOLOLOLOL Thank you:)

      • Rising Hawk says:

        Haha! My wife and I would be thrilled to have you visit! But, we are not vegetarians, (you can hate me now), though we try to stick to fish, and there aren’t many options for that here. But, Frost Diner makes a mean veggie omelet!

      • LOL You are too kind. 🙂 It sounds as if you live in a great place:) If you ever come to Chicago, let me know and I’ll show you both around:) I think there are 9.5 million of us here:) Lots of people 🙂 Fun things to see but don’t ever come here in the winter, not for any reason. And if you like sun, well, even in the summer you might want to skip us altogether:) LOL Still…it’s a fun place…you just have to be alert and be prepared to RUN outside when the sun comes out for a few seconds:)

      • Rising Hawk says:

        LOL! Thanks 🙂

  2. Heartafire says:

    I took out a library card, I still like to go to the library, there’s something about a place where you can go and look up a book and find it on the shelf, check it out, read it at leisure, or sit at a table or in a stuffed chair (thats new) and read for an hour or two, or however long you can stay. I love it. I love B & N , I love the coffee there too.

    • I go to the library too:) It is fun to walk between the shelves and looking for something. Sometimes I find something fabulous that I didn’t know existed:) I buy books when I want to highlight them or just because I’ll know I want to keep it. I’m so glad you enjoy your library. That is very cool.

  3. clarabetty says:

    Reblogged this on clarabetty and commented:
    I like how you observe people and jot down your thoughts- I do this sometimes in a cafe-there are no bookshops or coffee shops in the rural area where I live.

    • Thank you so very much. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I would miss bookstores. I miss them now, since most of them had gone out of business because of on-line book buying. At least you have a cafe:) It’s fun to write in places like that. Glad you like to do it too:) Thank you again.

  4. I agree. I was always at the library and I was always amazed that they let me take out as many books as I wanted to. LOL I always thought the person at the desk was going to tell me to put one or two of them back”)

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Re: the next to last paragraph: I read somewhere that the thought you entertain while you eat is more important than what you eat. Fear will live inside if you let it. As you know, that will never do!

  6. maggie0019 says:

    lol!!!! we don’t have accents. everyone else does. Classic!

  7. MK says:

    I love this post, Gigi. I can’t exactly say why, but really resonates with me. Maybe it’s because I can so identify with sitting in a bookstore, and feeling kinship with other book lovers. I think that bookstores in the US are as close as we get to an old fashioned pub – a community gathering place. Sadly disappearing.

    • I think you’re right. They are a kind of meeting place. I love it there and go once a week. Usually on Tuesday’s, since that’s the drop day, when all the new books come out. 🙂 Admittedly, sometimes I want to change things around (I was part owner of a bookstore) and shake things up a bit but chain stores are run by corporate and have to do what they’re told…not that I would ever touch their things, of course. I did suggest a poetry reading night every month but while the manner was very excited about the idea she had to go through corporate again and I doubt that it will ever happen. Sadly disappearing. Awful.

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