Light opera songs sung cheerily upstairs,
book browsers scowl, throw pointless glares;
under desk, price tags carpet the vinyl,
battalions of books, unevenly spinal.
Rows of books, somewhat regimented
pages permeate, shop sweetly scented;
authors are sinners, authors are saints,
some show caution, others, no restraint.
Waiting wooden ladders stand angled,
there’s little in this shop new fangled
but books galore, differing typefaces,
stories transport us to distant places.
Hidden train tickets, often old stamps,
some books pristine, others foxed-damp,
some underlined or margin annotated,
autodidacts pencilled opinions stated.
Languages learned with differing truths,
books are mentors missed in youth;
historians challenge narrative witness:
Shaw queries Chesterton’s fitness.
Let neglected voices speak again,
older authors bless our brains,
our gaze may dip or diligently delve,
serendipity lurks among dusty shelves…