But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
A sign above the cash register that says,
Unattended children will be given sugar and a puppy.
I love the cleverness of that sign, which is indicative of Bearly Read Books in general. Bearly Read Books is one of those tiny bookstores stacked floor-to-ceiling with books, and books overflow in boxes or rows or piles on the floor. It also sports endless cartoons, clippings, snippets, quotes, photographs, and personalizations that one or another owner put up and nobody ever removed. While visiting yesterday, I read an interesting, fairly recent printout about an extremely rare and valuable Bugatti discovered in a garage. The article had been taped to a shelf of car-related books.
Ian also purchased my best Christmas present of the year, a first edition in excellent condition of James Thurber’s The 13 Clocks (which I love not only for the story but for the fabulous way in which Thurber subtly rhymes lines of prose and includes clever alliteration and similar literary devices), at Bearly Read Books. I mentioned it to the owner as we paid for our tower of used books — which far exceeded our $15 credit — yesterday. She remembered Ian’s purchase, was pleased to hear I appreciated it, and told me she had never seen its equal yet. Find that kind of love for books and customers at Barnes and Noble.
In short, Bearly Read Books tops my list of bookstores in personality, selection — they even have a good-sized science fiction section, which keeps Ian interested — quality, price, ambiance, and general enjoyment. I could comfortably hunker down there for days, if not weeks. There’s nothing better than a good used bookstore densely populated with interesting and unusual reading material.