Begin at the beginning

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The beginning of my love for books and bookstores started with a small independent store in Corpus Christi, Texas in the 70s, called Page One Books.  It was run by a ginger haired woman named, appropriately, Ginger.  As a child, I devoured books:  Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Anne of Green Gables, the usual suspects for a young girl.  But I blew through them so quickly, it had its impact on my mother's pocketbook. The library was suggested to me as an option.  I do love libraries as well, my Grandmother Wink being a librarian.  But there is something about owning a book.  Having it on one's bookshelf.  Knowing it's there to reference, reread, look at, or smell.  (Is there a more glorious smell?)

I took matters into my own hands, got on my bike and pedaled to see Ginger at Page One.  I proposed a deal, she accepted, and we shook hands.  I did odd jobs, stocked shelves, and basically made a nuisance of myself.  Ginger allowed me to pick out $5 in merchandise for every day I worked.  Heaven.

From that day forward, I have gotten myself an English Literature degree (of course) and have had my nose in a variety of books.  I have held my children in my lap and read to them night after night. I am the friend you come to when you don't know what to read or what to buy for your friend or family member as a gift.  I am the friend that knows which books you will love and which will love you back.