Malcolm loved The Book Nook, that rambling, rickety bookstore on West Second Street.

It was something about the smell, that universal book smell: crisp and crackly with a hint of dusty wisdom and just a touch of unexpected spice, like musky vanilla. And the sounds: all that silence echoing provocatively around the swish of pages turning, the occasional cough or muted conversation, the rasp of a chair on the hardwood floor.

And of course the books. Old books, new books, bestsellers, classics, cheap books, leather-bound rare books—it didn’t matter. Books beckoned him higher up and further in, worlds unending, whole worlds unexplored.

The coffee shop in the front corner was a bonus. As was the brunette barista with the mischievous smile, the kind that makes you think there’s more to the story than a mere blurb might suggest.

– MWP 2012

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