the river of books part 1

Mondragon is a used bookstore. As such, it’s an eddy in the river of books that courses through the world. New bookstores? Some are hydropower dams on the river–books move through there with great force and a sole purpose: generating electricity, also known as money. They have a kind of awful beauty to them–and a kind of manic stress. Libraries, on the other hand,  are the thalweg–the lowest point along the bottom of the river, the deep current, the part that will still keep flowing even in a draught, the part we can depend on.  (People who run libraries, though, are the people advocating for kayak put-ins and riverwalks and river awareness).

Here at Mondragon, you will find the curious peaceful backwater in the river of books. You will find things here that you won’t find anywhere else. You might find a species you thought was extinct. The books may be filled with stories, but how the books got here are stories in themselves. All of them have come from someone. They come in bags and boxes. Sometimes there’s a person, hatchback open at the curb, car weighted down with treasure. Sometimes there are a couple bags left in front of the door during the closed hours. People are moving, retiring, downsizing, making room for fresh books. People bring books that belonged to people who have died. Some have bookplates pasted in them. Others have underlines and side commentary. Some have personal notes or receipts or photos or pressed flowers in the pages. As this ephemera accumulates, it will someday have its own home in the backwater, a little moss-covered shrine honoring the river gods and the things they carry in their current.



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