esterday didn’t go as planned.

The books I needed as a gift for Marcel’s friend weren’t at our usual bookstore. And once I’d finally tracked down the two volumes I needed, I was making plans to drive all the way across Albuquerque in the other direction. Before I could get out the door to pick them up, though, Roy called from the school office.

“I threw up,” he said. “Can you come and get me, or is this a bad time?”

So with Roy in tow (let’s just describe the state of his health as ‘in question’ and leave it at that), I drove to the second bookstore to pick up the birthday books.

Independent bookstore Alamosa Books is something of a drive from our house. For this reason, we’ve only been inside a couple of times and I’m embarrassed to admit it because there is such love on the shelves and along the walls. Lively attention is paid not only to the selection of titles but to the creation and cultivation of reading nooks and modest meeting areas. Roy took pictures while we walked around together, looking at posters and signed editions and stuffed animals.

Why hadn’t I been back for so long? Proximity seems like such a banal excuse. More magical and loads more literary: the possibility that I have fallen under an evil witch’s spell upon exiting the store on past visits, the specifics of which involve my forgetting its existence entirely.

(Peaches has been studying fairy tales in her reading group and she tells me that the number three has all sorts of supernatural properties. Maybe this third visit will break the spell.)

While Roy and I wandered together, I forgot all about my suspicions regarding his illness, the drive we’d made to get there, and the pickups and evening errands still to be completed once we returned home. It was warm and welcoming in the store and I now suspect that Alamosa Books has a magic all its own.