walk a-musing

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Book shop is closing

Our charity book shop is closing down next month. We came to know about it only two days ago. Naturally I am feeling really bad about it. We had not been making much profit these days, many regular volunteers had moved on and we had trouble finding new ones. But the shop meant a lot to many of us, both volunteers and regular customers.
For the last six months or so, whenever I was working, I was there really early in the morning, after dropping V off at school. I loved the sight of the shop as soon as I unlocked the front door. The rough wooden floor, the book lined walls, the smell of old books and the silence, the peace. I usually checked the mail, the rota, sent off a request for help to fill any gap in the rota, read the message book and then with an hour to spare before the other volunteer turned up and we opened the shop, I went upstairs, made myself a cup of tea and settled down to browse through any new books that had arrived. I will miss all this enormously.
I will miss the companionship of fellow volunteers. I will miss all the friendly customers. The elderly gentleman who always bought books on mathematics and philosophy. The lady who looked for good books for her grandchild. The University employee who came in at his break time. The Pakistani mother always looking for educational books for her kids. I will miss seeing the joy on a customer's face when I located in the store upstairs the book she had been searching for a long time.
Of course the shop was not run for the sake of volunteers or customers, but to make money for a cause. Since that was not being done to the desired extent, it had to go. But some of us will miss it sorely.


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