Have you ever looked across the room of a coffee shop, wondered what that interesting fella might be reading? Let alone thinking? Chances are, he thinks a bit more like you than already meets the eye.
Psychology has various schools of thought devoted to the law of attraction. Dating back to Pavlov, learned behavior will be reinforced, habit evolves into second-nature and attachments are solidified between often unconsciously like minded people. This energy umbrellas friendships, romance, and enemies. Yes, haters attract haters; sad but occasional reality, some people simply loathe themselves when meeting their other.
However, if you’re in welcomed touch with moderate solitude, literacy and words-dancing-all-over-pages-for-arbitrary-reason, welcome to an ilk that often likes to meet themselves. Think book groups, neighborhood coffee shops, and the way timeless charm of the stacks keeps a library in business. There is unique, subtle intimacy to moments near a book: peeking over the binding, glancing at the closed paperback on the adjacent table, and exchanging compassion about the same textbook impossible to read another sentence longer.
Some are what they eat or the countries they’ve visited, readers are often the books they’ve digested and the lens with which they’ve devoured Walker, Tolstoy, Wurtzel, and Russo. The following are some cozy nuggets of bookdom that invite spontaneous rendez-vous over that novel’s subplot you can’t erase, that image too disturbing to forget, or that plot twist you need to process with that one curious other.
- Steel City Coffee House, Phoenixville, where you won’t find books for sale, but many on a shelf, welcoming readers to abide by an honor code with hopes you’ll stay to support the next up and coming singer-songwriter performing later that evening.
- Chester County Book & Music Co., West Chester, indulge with an enormous selection of classic through indi books, complete with a diner like cafe and store clerks who actually read the books sold.
- Borders Books, Music, & Cafe, chain, but in some neighborhoods – long standing beloved book/cafe. This is the case in Bryn Mawr. Local students have spent a festive Friday, for decades, exploring music then laughing over random discount books and Italian Sodas.
- Giovanni’s Room, Center City Philadelphia, pride worthy as the oldest LGBT “out” bookstore in the country, and claims to some of the sassiest ambiance for inquiring minds, complete with chandelier and fireplace.
- Your local library…find your county, get your card! Some have cafes these days, and do not underestimate the power of borrowing privileges.
Finally, remember what the mouse in a box proved: follow your passion, find the reward…a curious other, to call friend, lover, or (fr)enemy.