Yesterday, I drove to Philadelphia on a quest. I sought to attend an event I had looked forward to for several months. There was an Old Book Fair held in an old church. I didn’t really know what to expect beyond the promise of old books, a profound magic made by the concentration of so many wondrous objects. What knowledge lurked within? What wisdom?
In an old stone church, tucked between red brick row houses, looked down upon by the vaguely smiling saints of a deity I could no longer bring myself to worship, the old books gathered in their hundreds. There were books about fairies, boy wizards, and clever budding arcanists. There were books graced by the signature of one of my heroes, President U.S. Grant. There were so many books I had never heard of. History of places I was only just starting to explore. Books of poems and plays bound in leather sat beside golden age mysteries and the luminaries of visionary science fiction.
All were priced well beyond my means. Someday, I told myself. Someday, I would be able to peruse such rarefied shelves and purchase ancient occult tomes to satisfy my interests. Someday, I told myself, I would see my own books in such company. That day seems far off now, but it beckons in my dreams.
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