...or at least as close to living in it as I can get.
Admittedly as soon as I found Arkadia (the used bookstore I've mentioned before), I knew I would be going back, and very soon.
Actually I went back back a few days later, as I told you...to trade in my beloved books to get the books I had put aside.
...needless to say, there were even more wonders to behold the second time I was there. And I am too much in love not to share them with you. (Please excuse the subsequent gushing).
I woke up early on Saturday morning, wondering what I would do until I could reasonably walk down the few blocks between my apartment and my beloved. It was a sunny day, with just the faintest of breezes blowing. In other words, it was perfect.
I gathered my books (having resisted for the last several days from snatching them off my shelf and preparing them) and set off with my stash in tow, swinging my hips the whole way there.
I arrived there before I knew it, aware of the song in my heart as I hummed some nameless tune.
I met the other owner of the shop, the husband to the woman I had met there on Thursday. His name is Ian. He's British but has lived basically everywhere. He also speaks more languages than I can remember (including French and several others I heard him speak).
We did the trade - I gave him 8 of my paperbacks for the 2 large hardbacks and 1 paperback I had put aside. It was an even trade. No money was exchanged. The weight in my bag was about the same.
He then told me to take a look around, go all the way around the shop, all the way to the back, explore, feel everything, peek into every corner, take a nap. The shop was my home. And it felt like it really was. I was home.
I thanked him profusely and proceeded to take my time wandering around the shop and feel the place out once again. It's one of the places I feel absolutely comfortable in. It's beautiful there. I took more pictures (the first post was pictures from their website...admittedly I was too embarrassed and deep in conversation to take photos).
Somewhere in the basement (there is no second floor, only a floor below), I took to exploring the deeper caverns of my new wonder place...and this is what I found:
A little room that had the oldest books I had seen (well, for this shop, anyway), and a little table with wine and bread.
Take as much as you like, but bring your dirty dishes up, and donate what you like.
I started to notice that the place was sprinkled with little alcoves like these. Food and drink that you could take what you needed. Games that you could play along with books next to them to teach you if you didn't know and wanted to learn.
The place is just inviting, everywhere. Spend time here, sit down, take a nap, eat, play, read. Look around you. Find your nook. No one will disturb you if you don't want.
There were endless (well, not really, but quite a few) rooms like these. Little spaces you could tuck yourself away in and lose yourself in a new favorite book. I was enchanted.
I was so enchanted, in fact, that I spent two hours there by accident.
Not that I had to go anywhere, but just wandering around, looking at things, being amazed...well, it took my breath away.
And I found more books to buy. Two more, in fact. They cost me 11euros total. I bought them and put them together with my others and pretended that my trade was 8 books for 5 books, costing 11euros. The trade sounds better that way. :)
Anyhoo, here are some more pics of my exploration of Arkadia. Rooms and rooms of books, glorious books. There is even a great room called the "warehouse" where you can go and sort through books yourself (they're not sorted that much). I loved it...it was like treasure hunting. Generally speaking they're categorized but other than that...up to you!
Isn't it wonderful? :)
Clearly going to be here often.
...I've already finished 2 books more since I've been there. It's only been 4 days. I'm about to finish a third.
And thus the book lust continues...