The yellow sign on the sidewalk in front of the glass door entry way simply stated “Books” in black letters. No further description of what the store offered. The window displays were of people, real people, lounging on Victorian or modern ghost chairs and reading. There were no displays of the latest best seller or a spotlight on the latest must-have gift for the book lover in your life. There was no indication that I was about to fall in love.
But I did.
The Battery Park Book Exchange in downtown Asheville, according to their website, is “trading books by the thousands and wine by the glass.” It is a wondering maze of hardbacks, paperbacks, fiction, cookbooks and local authors.
I purchased a cafe au lait and wondered the bookstacks. I wasn’t searching for a book but was curious to see if one would find me. If there was a book that said, “I’m yours.” Or even, “check me out.” In a way, I guess I was wading into the shallow end, kind of like an online dater for the first time. Wondering if there was something for me but not wanting to get my hopes up too high.
Prior to the bookshop, my cousin and his girlfriend was giving us the five-cent tour of his college town. He was pointing out various shops, restaurants and his favorite haunts. He took us into a local gallery where various artists had their crafts on display, Kreuss. In that store, it was easy to recognize the creative talent that goes into each person’s art and chalk it up to innate. I was envious at how a person could mold clay or draw lines that create a piece of art which spoke to people on a deeper level.
As I wondered through the bookstore, reading the names on the spines of bound pages, I realized I wasn’t looking for a book to be my next nightly date. I wasn’t looking for the one that was going to be my perfect match. The experience wasn’t about finding something that spoke to me. It was about me realizing I had something to write that would speak to others. That it was time I took my creative, innate talent and molded words into a piece of art that spoke to book lovers on a deeper level.
I walked out of the bookstore with the words “write me” on a continuous loop in my head.