Imagine going full-on From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler on your favorite bookstore and staying the night. It would be our own personal slice of heaven! While, yes, it would be kinda illegal, no one can police our imaginations. So in a perfect world, where you could “accidentally” get “locked in” to your favorite bookstore overnight and not get “thrown in jail”…what would you do? We’ll start:
1. Figure out how to work the coffee pot. We’ve got lots to do in the next 8 hours. Must be highly caffeinated.
Fast forward to 8 hours later…
2. Bookstore manager finds us asleep in a chair holding the espresso maker instruction manual. Still on page one. The entire store remains undisturbed.
Just kidding! Here’s the real list:
1. Coffee to start, or all will be for naught. So we make it happen and it has extra whipped cream and it is good. We sit at the best table in the joint without feeling the eyes of a person who also wants to sit down boring into our back. This is also good. We could get used to this.
2. Replace all the Staff Picks with Our Own Picks. Including but not limited to: The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla, The Remains of the Day, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Me Talk Pretty One Day, White Teeth, and Just Kids. Sorry, staff. There’s a new sheriff in town.
3. Decide to finally, finally, FINALLY tackle Infinite Jest. Since 8 hours stretch before us with nothing else to do but read. But oh! There’s also Middlesex! And The Golem and the Jinni! And The Sandman! And all the other books that have ever been written that we haven’t gotten to read yet! Instead, we’ll just wish really hard for Hermione’s time-turner necklace.
4. Relax from mental breakdown by trying out all the gel pens by the register. Create some pretty sweet nail art. Pay for them because we’re not heathens.
5. Go in the back room just to see if it’s an entrance to a magical land. Oh, just a bunch more books? It IS an entrance to a magical land!
6. Instagram a photo of ourselves sitting on a pile of books like a bookworm emperor. #BooksAreLife
7. Find the wheelie ladder and take a ride on it while snatching a book off the shelf. Yes, exactly like Belle in Beauty and the Beast (at 1:52).
8. Check out the self-help section without feeling self-conscious. Because no one’s around, and if we wanna know the five love languages of the heart, we’re gonna learn! No day but today. 525,600 minutes. Right?
9. Rearrange the shelves (just a teeny, tiny bit) so that all the meet-cutes can happen more easily. Liiike maybe a Philip K. Dick fan and an Aimee Bender fan could be an awesome match? The dude reading The Lies of Locke Lamora needs to meet the lady who loves The Name of the Wind. Crowdsource on social media for suggestions. Write a letter of apology to the store’s staff and explain your motives.
10. Put on the Frozen soundtrack and sing “Let it Go.” Because why wouldn’t you. Aren’t you just a little bit curious about the store’s acoustics?
11. Use the gel pens and a Moleskine notebook to write down inspirational quotes. Hide them in the pages of your favorite books. Put the books back on the shelf. Pay for the notebook on the honor system.
13. Take pictures of the prettiest book covers. Vow to print them out later and hang them on the walls of your house.
14. Set up a stool in the back and perform a reading of your favorite novel. Pretend you wrote it yourself. If you have your own novel at the store, read that instead…
15. … then set up a table in the front of the store. Sit behind it and imagine you’re there to sign your novel. Practice your signature using the aforementioned gel pens and Moleskine.
16. Or forget everything we just said and just read, read, read until the break of dawn, like you’re the maharajah of your very own book palace. (Then escape through a window.)