I must confess, with a fair amount of embarrassment, that visiting, photographing and writing about this wonderful next door neighbor of mine has been on my to-do list for quite sometime. Sure, we see each other in the comings and goings of everyday downtown life. When my kids were born, Myra (one of the owners) showed up at my studio with some gifts. And there happens to be a sign on my door that instructs personnel to deliver my packages next door when I am not present to accept and sign for them. To that end, you could say that I visit the bookshop next door quite a bit. But I’ve made a bad habit of never stopping long enough slow down, take it all in and enjoy the cozy atmosphere and the wide selection of books at my almost-immediate disposal. And that is a shame, because I love books.
I’ve been reading since I could read. Mysteries, adventure novels, biographies and history books were my first love. My introverted personality, my quiet nature and my mother also pushed me to read at a young age. I was a frequent visitor to the local Library. And growing up as the only kid in the house allowed me a lot of peace and quiet in which to get lost in what I was reading. Of course as a teenager, I went through a decline with my interest in reading because, lets be honest, rock and roll was just more fun than peace and quiet. But college brought it all back to me with books on artists, art, graphic design, photography coffee table books with artful photographs and truth be told, a few textbooks that were actually quite interesting to read.
When my parents sold my childhood home and proceeded to go through all of their belongings, I inherited a number of antique books. Those books have been a fixture in my own home over the years. I have of course, continued to add to this collection. There is just something about being surrounded by books that for me, creates a safe, cozy, inspiring and relaxing environment for reading, working, napping and enjoying life.
Of course starting a business, running a business and most recently embarking on the journey of parenting twin kiddos doesn’t exactly leave me a lot of time for reading. And for the last few years, my reading focus has been limited to a few self-help books, tutorials and reviews on photography equipment, recipes and lots and lots of emails. Last year, I worked too much; almost 7 months nonstop by my calculations. At the beginning of this year, I decided to take a sabbatical. And at the top of my priority list was to read more books.
Enter Trolley Line Bookshop. Conveniently located next door to my studio space and less than a mile from home, this fine establishment has been around for a number of years. (Read more than 10). Walking in, you find an immediate sense of quiet and calm. There may or may not be sounds coming from a stereo or small television behind the counter. But even if there is, the place is still quiet. Hundreds and Hundreds of books provide the space with a natural sound dampening and they provide the average passerby with an environment that transform them from a window shopper to an in-store browser and then, to a customer.
I could go into Trolley Line everyday and not see everything there is to see. There is an organized disorder to the shop. But that only adds to the intrigue and adventure of browsing through there. Myra and her husband Pat run the shop and like me, they both live and work in the downtown area. There is something for everyone in Trolley Line. Literally. (Pun intended). Whether you’re just looking for a used paperback copy of an old classic or an antique hardback 1st edition, you’ll find it and everything in between at Trolley Line. Maybe not on your visit, but keep coming and you will. And if you ask Pat or Myra, they’ll either help you hunt it down in the store or find it elsewhere. Myra has been buying, selling and collecting books both locally and online for a number of years now and as a result, she has a vast knowledge of the industry.
I’ve been in there a number of times since my sabbatical started and each visit, I am rewarded with the discovery different books, new facts about authors, a conversation with Pat or Myra and of course, a sense of refreshment and inspiration as I leave. Hopefully, you’ll visit and find this place just as rewarding and inspiring as I do.
Trolley Line Bookshop
110 W Walnut St
Rogers, AR 72756