Caffeine and book dealers

“Caffeine and book dealers”. Alluring words to display on a shopfront.

I venture in with my ducklings.

My toddler’s hand feels warm and trusting in mine. My baby, moving backwards as usual in my carrier ‘pouch’, looks around with wide open eyes, as if he knows instinctively that his mama is in a happy place and he too will be happy here.

Once we’re in, I lose a little hand. The owner of the hand quickly scans the room and locates a box of blocks and a comfy chair. When she sees the blackboard and hears the whirl of the coffee machine, she says, “Fluffy? Fluffy!” She is so quick to secure the essentials.

I smile and order. The barista is so thorough. He goes the extra mile to check that we are not lactose-intolerant and that my little munchkin is allowed (she isn’t today) a fluffy ‘with all the trimmings’.

Sometime I will have to come back alone.

We do manage to pick up a few pre-loved books before we go. Agatha Christie’s “Crime Collection” and Jo Seagar’s “You shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble darling” are now in my possession, and the kids’ room is graced with “The Beginner’s Bible” and two skinny Sesame Street books.

Books are too easily overlooked in this world of distractions. Each time I get ‘into’ reading again I wonder how on earth I could have stopped reading for months and months. Life happens. People and circumstances make demands of our focus and energy. Other things feel more important.

This week as I carve out a few blocks of time to read alone, I feel the little girl in me rejoicing as I do what she so loved to do, years ago. The woman in me continues her passion.

12 Apr 2021

A photo of Caffeine and Book Dealers, the Book Exchange, Glen Eden, Auckland
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