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" Seek the truth and run from

those who claim to have found it "

after André Gide

The Bookstall

September 16th, 2017

The Bookstall

Just looking at them
I grow greedy, as if they were
freshly baked loaves
waiting on their shelves
to be broken open—that one
and that—and I make my choice
in a mood of exalted luck,
browsing among them
like a cow in sweetest pasture.

For life is continuous
as long as they wait
to be read—these inked paths
opening into the future, page
after page, every book
its own receding horizon.
And I hold them, one in each hand,
a curious ballast weighting me
here to the earth.

~ Linda Pastan

3 Responses to “The Bookstall”

  1. Oh yes, I will go along with that, what joy to wade through a book shop like the one illustrated, the search enthusiastically undertaken, flicking through the pages, then the gasp of recognizing you have found the one most suited to where you are at that moment in time. Much love to all, Margaret.

  2. How wondrous to read this poem that so utterly articulates my lifelong longing for books. Their massed presence up walls and down bookcases or in untidy stacks content to ignore the principle of gravity. Their scent that makes you breath slower just walking into tight-aisled bookstores or curled up amid their company, the weight of today’s book in your hands. The snick of a crisp page opening your mind to new ideas or the subtle rustle of dog-eared paper as you renew a long acquaintance yet again.

  3. Oh great joy to find a “used” book store as shown in the picture! The picture and the poem are what I consider to be my Heaven. From earliest adolescence to now in my senior years, searching to find those bits of heaven found in stacks and shelves of old books is an ongoing exercise for me.
    The out of the way places where my senses are alive with …
    the sight of old bindings…
    the smell of collected aromas of old paper…glue, dry paper…
    the sound of the nearly solitary journey through the stacks and shelves…
    the touch of leather, cloth and paper….
    O great joy!

    Thank you for posting this “The Bookstall”!

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