Fables Books: Goshen's Truly Independent Bookstore

What is One Book You Wish You Had Already Read?

On Friday night, Fables Bookshop hosted a preview night. From 5 pm to 9 pm, we opened our doors and talked with our community members. About 500 people cycled through our doors. Many people expressed relief that Goshen would soon again have a bookshop.

At one point in the evening a boy, about six years old came up to me and asked: "Do you have «War and Peace»?"

A row of books: "Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth", "Paradise Lost", "War and Peace", "If on a Winter

I responded, "Yes, we have «War and Peace». Let me go back and grab a copy to show you."

In the back, we have at least 8,000 books. And I knew where it was. On a blue cart, out on the floor, on the top corner had sat an older Penguin Classic's paperback copy of «War and Peace» by Lev Tolstoy

Books are moving through our process that will get them onto our retail shelves. We are triaging and sorting out what we think we can sell at Fables Bookshop. Books are moving from place to place as they funnel through our process.

And Lev Tolstoy's «War and Peace» had been in the same spot for a week.

When I walked back, I saw that our volunteers had gotten to the blue cart and processed the books, including «War and Peace.»

No problem, I thought. How hard can a 1,200 page book be to find on one of five carts?

Apparently, too tricky for me. I wanted to find "War and Peace" to bring it to the curious boy up front.

With a failed search, I went back to the boy and his parents and said: "I couldn't find it. It's a big book, and I thought I could find it."

The boy's mom, building on his encouragement, said to him, "I will buy you «War and Peace» if you read five books this summer."

And the boy smiled.

Was this a moment that might be the genesis of a lifelong reader? What books will this child read in preparation for "War and Peace?"

As I'm working with my partners to open Fables Bookshop, I think about our community members. What books sit on their list of books that they someday want to read.

At the top of my someday list is «Paradise Lost» by John Milton. And second is «War and Peace» by Lev Tolstoy. With upcoming travel, I'm bringing along my copy of «Paradise Lost» to read; Though I wish I had a copy with Durer's art.

What is at the top of your someday list? And what is holding you back?

Written by Jeremy Friesen.