A few years ago, we did a video interview with one of the folks at The Bookshelf, a small book shop on the Southside of Seattle.
His name was Greg.
He was a bookish kid, and he had the most fun of them all.
“My parents had been in the military, so my mother was very strict on me,” Greg said.
“I was always taught not to wear clothes on the job, and not to talk to strangers, and that I should never be out at night.
But my mom was adamant that I was allowed to come into the store, just like everybody else.
So I was very fortunate.”
The next day, Greg had a new book on his desk.
The book was a hardcover copy of “The Song of Solomon,” by Samuel Beckett.
It was the first book he had ever read, and it was full of beautiful passages and beautiful imagery.
“And the thing that struck me was how beautiful the pages were, the beautiful illustrations,” Greg continued.
“It was like a masterpiece.”
Greg read the book, and for the first time in his life, he understood something that had been hidden from him for so long.
It had been an important part of his life for years, and now it was being revealed for the very first time.
“What it felt like to be reading a book was something I hadn’t experienced before,” Greg remembered.
“The feeling of sitting there and having a book with me, it was like having my own personal library with me.”
And that was just the beginning.
“There was so much to it,” Greg concluded.
“Just the way the book was written.
The way the story was told, the way it was presented, the whole thing was just a little bit different from everything I’d read before.”
But even more exciting, Greg said, was that the book had an amazing ending.
The very next day he would be on stage, playing the role of Solomon, and his parents would be in attendance.
And while he was on stage playing the part, his parents were reading from the book.
And when the book ended, Greg would see them both reading the book from his own personal book.
“Oh my God,” Greg exclaimed.
“They were reading the same book, right in front of us!”
The book he’d read that day was “The Sun,” by Mark Twain.
It took Greg more than two decades to realize that the ending of “Solomon” was just as significant to him as the opening, and the book he was reading just as important as the book himself.
It’s no wonder that a bookshop is so important to a person’s life, and to the community in which they live.
“Bookshops are a very special part of my life,” Greg explained.
“A lot of my friends in high school are bookshops.
It is a great place to hang out and meet other people.
I like the fact that I can actually be myself and meet people who are a lot more different than my friends.
It makes me feel more comfortable.”
It’s been said that the best books are those that we never have to read.
And it is true that there are a few that are difficult to read, but those books are the ones that we read, read well, and are ultimately the most important.
As Greg told us, it is only the most powerful of books that can teach us the things that we need to know, the things we need in order to be successful.
We love books because we need them.
And if we are able to find them in a place where we can read them, it will always be worth it.
“That’s the one thing I love about being a bookseller,” Greg added.
“If you have a book, it means a lot to you.
If you don’t have a good book, you don`t have to go through all of this.
It`s a good thing.
If a book doesn`t sell, it doesn`’t mean you haven`t given it a chance.
And that`s what I love the most about it.”
So next time you want to read something, don`s go into your bookshop and find a copy.
That’s what books are for, isn`t it?
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