Read Books Online, for Free
|The Haunted Bookshop||Christopher Morley|
The Haunted Bookshop
|Page 5 of 11||
As he neared the front of the shop, Mr. Mifflin switched on a cluster of lights that hung high up, and the young man found himself beside a large bulletin board covered with clippings, announcements, circulars, and little notices written on cards in a small neat script. The following caught his eye:
If your mind needs phosphorus, try "Trivia," by Logan Pearsall Smith.
If your mind needs a whiff of strong air, blue and cleansing, from hilltops and primrose valleys, try "The Story of My Heart," by Richard Jefferies.
If your mind needs a tonic of iron and wine, and a thorough rough-and-tumbling, try Samuel Butler's "Notebooks" or "The Man Who Was Thursday," by Chesterton.
If you need "all manner of Irish," and a relapse into irresponsible freakishness, try "The Demi-Gods," by James Stephens. It is a better book than one deserves or expects.
It's a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way.
One who loves the English tongue can have a lot of fun with a Latin dictionary.
Human beings pay very little attention to what is told them unless they know something about it already. The young man had heard of none of these books prescribed by the practitioner of bibliotherapy. He was about to open the door when Mifflin appeared at his side.
"Look here," he said, with a quaint touch of embarrassment. "I was very much interested by our talk. I'm all alone this evening-- my wife is away on a holiday. Won't you stay and have supper with me? I was just looking up some new recipes when you came in."
The other was equally surprised and pleased by this unusual invitation.
"Why--that's very good of you," he said. "Are you sure I won't be intruding?"
"Not at all!" cried the bookseller. "I detest eating alone: I was hoping someone would drop in. I always try to have a guest for supper when my wife is away. I have to stay at home, you see, to keep an eye on the shop. We have no servant, and I do the cooking myself. It's great fun. Now you light your pipe and make yourself comfortable for a few minutes while I get things ready. Suppose you come back to my den."
On a table of books at the front of the shop Mifflin laid a large card lettered:
PROPRIETOR AT SUPPER
Beside the card he placed a large old-fashioned dinner bell, and then led the way to the rear of the shop.
Behind the little office in which this unusual merchant had been studying his cookbook a narrow stairway rose on each side, running up to the gallery. Behind these stairs a short flight of steps led to the domestic recesses. The visitor found himself ushered into a small room on the left, where a grate of coals glowed under a dingy mantelpiece of yellowish marble. On the mantel stood a row of blackened corn-cob pipes and a canister of tobacco. Above was a startling canvas in emphatic oils, representing a large blue wagon drawn by a stout white animal-- evidently a horse. A background of lush scenery enhanced the forceful technique of the limner. The walls were stuffed with books. Two shabby, comfortable chairs were drawn up to the iron fender, and a mustard-coloured terrier was lying so close to the glow that a smell of singed hair was sensible.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Haunted Bookshop
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004