Shhhh! Don’t Tell Anyone

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  For years I’ve had this dream of opening a “place.”  I put that in quotes because I’m not quite sure what to call it.  It would look a whole lot like the picture above.  Part bookstore, part coffee shop, part modern version of a literary salon.  I even toyed with a name: Gertrude’s, after that famous salon keeper herself, Gertrude Stein.

And maps.  There would have to be maps because I am a long-time cartophile.  I can stare at a map for hours, read it almost like a book.

Maps and books and coffee and tea and lots of discussion.  The barista would be more of a bartender.  There would, in fact, be a coffee bar where one could sit and sip and bend the ear of the very well-educated barista.

A back room.  There would have to be a back room for poetry slams and writers’ groups and book clubs.

With the announcement today that Borders was officially closing all its stores, there were simultaneous and breathless hopes expressed on NPR that perhaps this might give some breathing room for a slight resurgence of small, independent bookstores to flourish.  A significant portion of the population still wants to smell books and touch them and walk among them.  Many of us are still romantically attached to that dream of having a library like Henry Higgins’.

I’m not sure I’ll ever realize this dream.  That’s okay.  I have plenty more where that one came from, and I was never quite sure I could fully commit to the endless hours required in owning a “place” such as this.  But, I still believe that in the right place and the right time and with the right energy, it could be a wonderful place for geeks to meet.

Oh.  And a liquor license.  Definitely a liquor license.

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