"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.