Still Window Shopping

She strolled the congested streets of her cluttered memory. She recalled plenty of perfect places to shop for the holidays. Her mind hummed with a variety of concerns as she browsed through windows.

“Should I bother to brave the crazy crowds of the big box store to shop for the holidays? Where in my area are there small shops to browse to find a unique item? Will I choose a trite trend or a brilliant gift?”

Suddenly, the house hushed. She looked up from her keyboard to find herself sitting alone. Her family had just departed to get shit done.


About this post: I am creating something every day this month as part of a personal challenge and the NaBloPoMo Revival group on Facebook. This morning, I wrote “Still Window Shopping” before getting ready for a day of errands on the last Saturday of November. I limited the length of today’s story to 100 words upon inspiration from a piece of flash fiction posted at Failing Haiku. See

Years ago, I created this doodle of how I like to remember the small frontage of the vast cavern of a popular bookstore in Berkeley. (It doesn’t look anything like my doodles.) If you can’t pull away from your computer to shop small businesses locally, consider shopping a small business like Lynn Cobb Silver or Moe’s Books online. See my past posts related to this particular image (or Moe’s Books) as follows:

#NaBloPoMo18 #Create30 #SmallBusinessSaturday #lynncobb #moesbooks

————–©2018 Stephanie Abbott. All rights reserved

Mission Impossible: A night op to fight teen angst

Operation Humanities

It was early evening. I was on a mission to help fight teen angst. I decided to start in a place rarely seen by the afflicted—the bookstore.

Armed with cash and dressed for combat, I jumped in the car. Objective: books. Field of battle: a bookstore. Motive: to enlighten a young mind. Targets: philosophy, literature, and art journal supplies. Conflict: demand greater than supply.

Recon, from the parking lot, revealed a high-traffic environment. The store was in its final days. Books were priced to move. (All fixtures too!) This may get bloody.

I entered the store. I scanned for the target genre. It was tough as the field looked tossed and battle worn.

Cloaked in suburban mommy wear, I stalked unnoticed. Shoppers seemed focused on their own targets. In fact, I noticed that several were consulting lists and scoping the territory.

All of the sudden, a primal need to consume indiscriminately kicked in. It didn’t matter what it was. I wanted to have rather than not.

My eye flushed red. My knees bent. My back coiled. I was about to lose my humanity.

Later, as I approached my car, my vision cleared. I had books in hand—a couple for the teen and a few for myself.

Mission accomplished.

Sunday, September 4, 2011. I snapped the pic with my Kodak Z7590 then put the photo through a filter using Photoshop. The store receipt reflected $44 in savings.

Dog Ears and Mildew: A look at owning a book

Owning a book entails more than simply purchasing, trading, or borrowing it. It is the process of choosing the book that truly enhances the read.

While I find great efficiency with my e-reader, I prefer the more traditional fare. Whether trawling through the stacks of an independent seller, sifting through family castoffs, or zipping through a monster box store, I find myself drawn to the printed page.

Part of the draw may be the aroma of inked pulp or even the must of mildew. Perhaps it is simply my secret compulsion to dog-ear the pages?

From genre to literary focus, my eyes flit from cover art to typeface. My hands caress spines and flip through the pages. In the end, the authors, characters, and topics grab my interest.

This near-ritual drama transforms my decision to choice. The choice may be a used book or a freshly pressed publication. It could be poetry or prose. I will read it with relish, and I will own it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011. Today’s post is inspired by the NaBloPoMo prompt, “Do you prefer to own books or borrow them from a friend or the library?” I created the bookcase on my iPad using ArtRage.