Last night I dreamt not that I went to Manderlay again, but, rather, I dreamt I went to heaven.
No, not that heaven.
Last night I dreamt that I went to Book-Lover’s Heaven.
The entrance to Book-Lover’s Heaven is not a pearly gate, it’s a rather nondescript door, much like the entry door on any retail store. I opened the door and went through.
I had no idea of what was inside the door until I opened it and stepped inside. Once I crossed the threshold, the knowledge of what lay inside washed through me. It was a bookstore.
Not just any book store.
Book Store Heaven.
It was a massive complex of buildings and walkways, stairways and elevators, moving sidewalks the led from one building to another. I couldn’t see all the buildings, some were a dozen stories high, others only a few stories. Each building, every floor, was filled with books old and new.
The first building I entered happened to be my favorite section in any bookstore: The History Section, several floors worth of any history book I could imagine.
The design was what I’d always envisioned a book store should look like: light colors and bright sunshine. There were large overstuffed chairs and sofas to curl up on, to examine a book before taking it home. There were lots of friendly, book-loving employees everywhere, so one never had to wait in line if one needed help locating a book. All the books were neatly arranged, and perfectly alphabetized. Every book resided in the place it was supposed to be.
After wandering around several floors of history books, I made my way to The Fiction Section, a twelve story building where each floor was so large I could not see to the other side. Again, more bright sunshine, and comfortable reading nooks, and one could always find their favorite spot empty and waiting.
I was carrying several books as I wandered down a long walkway, with little street cafes on one side, where the tables overlooked a lazily meandering river. There was plenty of hot coffee and tea being served, or a nice glass of wine, or whatever else one preferred to sip on as one read the pages of a favorite new book.
As I walked around, gazing at all the sights, trying to figure out where I wanted to go next, I spied a sign that read, “Book Sale” that had an arrow pointing towards a door propped open with a stack of books. My heart leapt! What Book Lover doesn’t love books on sale?
I entered a building of warehouse proportions, with rows and rows of shelving units, packed with books, stacked with books, piled with books. As I tried to scope the place out, and come up with the best way to be sure I covered every aisle, my eye spied a big, thick book on the shelf nearest me, the title leaping out at me: “George and Dewe.” (As far as I can tell, there is no such book in reality). My heart raced, and I casually walked over to it, trying not to call attention to myself or the book. “George and Dewe” was The Book I had wanted for a long time, but, the $55 cover price always gave me pause. Yet, here it was. And, on sale! I didn’t want to get too excited because I didn’t know what kind of “sale” prices were being offered in this place. I held my breath, and slipped the book off the shelf, and, there on the front cover was the sale sticker. One dollar! One Dollar!
As the thrill of the orgasm-inducing sale price of the much-coveted book coursed through my veins, another truth of Book-Lover’s Heaven was revealed: I had a credit card with an unlimited credit limit, and there would always be enough money to pay the credit card balance off each month.
I was quickly walking towards the large shopping carts lined up in the corner when I heard barking.
It was my dogs. Barking at someone walking by.
Book-Lover’s Heaven vanished in the mists of dreams.