Back in the days of the bookstore empire, I used to frequently visit the local Barnes & Nobles and spend hours roaming the makeshift halls of books. This was before there were any rules preventing you from sitting down and diving into a novel for hours, and it was glorious. I grew up in that specific bookstore, doing my elementary school and middle school homework in the Starbucks located inside, and reading fiction that I could better understand given my age at the time.
One memory in particular that always stands out to me was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my dad on the carpeted floor, our own secret book club that we made for ourselves. The security guard would walk by and shake his head at our loitering, but wouldn’t do anything about it. It’s a daughter and a father having a good time, why should you interrupt such a genuine moment?
But anyway, I remembered one day I randomly had scotch tape in my purse and a boba straw and had to decided to attach the straw to a loooong piece of tape. For the better of 45 minutes I proudly chanted “ACCIO STRAW" and pulled the object towards me. It was dumb as shit, but my dad loved it and I amused myself to no end.
Now, the Barnes & Nobles is a furniture store three levels high, and there are very few people who roam through it. Where there was once a bastion of imagination, creativity and community, now there’s only commerce and faux Asian modeled statues that you can fancifully decorate on your coffee table.
To this day my dad and I stop and pay our respects. It was a great time for seekers of knowledge, and it will never be forgotten.