Of truth is the acknowledgement that “the best things in life are free,” and it pleases me when I see indication of people’s understanding of this, and of their indulging in such worthy opportunity. Consider book stores, and in particular modern-styled book stores which boast of couches, free wi-fi, and in-house coffee shops where may be purchased a myriad of coffees, from a straight cup of black to the most exotic of blended versions, with or without a cloudy smother of cream, with or without a jolt or two of espresso. Peach smoothies and iced berry drinks whirled into delectable treats are offered alongside slender cellophane-wrapped Biscotti and a tender Danish selection that is visible on the shinning glass shelves. Have no money? The aroma is free, as are the sounds and sights, and on opening the door to enter the noble place one is besieged by the incomparable perfume of freshly ground coffee beans, by splendid light, and by the sharp rattle of spinning ice.
The best part though, are the long shelves of books and magazines, free for the taking; well, I mean free for the taking down to read, and then either to purchase, or to place back in its spot. Glossy periodicals on any subject thinkable, from photography to cooking to current events to home decorating to fashion. Books of every genre to peruse. Ample rich chairs to settle into with your trove for skimming, examining, browsing, or even for serious study. Ah, yes. A bookstore. One of life’s greatest gifts. Free.
We only have one in Lake Havasu; Hastings is its name. Jerry and I go there frequently. We hook into the internet, we read magazines and books, we write, we drink coffee. We gaze. We consider. Board games are tucked about as are boxes of crayons for any youngster who wants to use them.
On Friday evenings, we’ve noticed a group of young people who come in with their own tables, which they set up so as not to block the use of the regular tables. They set up games they have brought with them, and are soon immersed in that activity. Some bring their own drinks.
Last week I wandered about taking pictures in this wonderful place. When I went outside, I noticed this couple visiting in the balmy Lake Havasu night. “May I take your picture?” I asked.
“Sure,” they said, and turned to pose.
“No, just ignore me,” I instructed them. For I wanted you to see another unstaged scene from an evening in a bookstore, an evening available at no charge. Free. A gift.
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