The Bookstore Attraction Conundrum

bookstore-picDoyle wasn’t sure why he’d picked that exact moment to look up from his book.

Even now, weeks removed from the incident, he couldn’t tell you if it was just a feeling he had, or if the Fates themselves had somehow intervened and tapped him on the shoulder.

He didn’t really care why he looked up, though.  All that mattered was that he did.

Because that was when he saw her.

“Dude,” he whispered as he tapped his friend Ryan on the elbow, and then pointed across the bookstore at the young lady who was browsing at the books on the Eastern European Religions shelf.

“Whoa,” Ryan uttered in reply, as he closed his book and sat up straight.  “And you thought hanging at the bookstore was a waste of time.  She is so your type.”

Doyle nodded his agreement.  The object of their ogling would definitely be found in the section of the bookstore marked  “Girls That Made Doyle Weak In The Knees”.

Long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, glasses, and freckles.  Doyle certainly had a type, although at the moment, he would simply settle for anyone willing to go out with him.  He was in the middle of a horrendous dating dry spell, and his confidence was completely shot.

“You should go talk to her,” Ryan egged on his friend, knowing full well that he was in the middle of the worst dating slump of his life.  Doyle had never been a dating All-Star, but he was a solid, dependable guy, who was excellent boyfriend material.  In the hands of the right girlfriend, Doyle could be a blue chipper.

“I can’t just go up to her,” Doyle protested with a disgusted look that he didn’t actually turn to give his friend because he simply could not take his eyes off of the girl across the room.  “It’s not like this is a bar.  We’re in a bookstore.”

Doyle held up his book as if to prove his point about their whereabouts.

booksRyan slid his chair a little closer so as not to draw any unwanted attention from the store’s staff, who did not take kindly to chatters.  “Why is it okay to walk up to a complete stranger in a bar, but not in a bookstore?”

Doyle had to admit it was a good question.  “I guess because in a bar, there’s just the implied social contract that flirting and unwanted advances are a part of the experience.  Plus, there’s alcohol involved.”

Ryan nodded.  “The presence of alcohol does seem to change the rules a bit.”

Doyle agreed, “It puts people at ease, gets them to lower their guard, and offering to buy a drink gives a person an excuse to approach the other.”

“There’s a cafe downstairs,” Ryan realized.  “Why don’t you offer to buy her a coffee?”

The girl continued to look at the books, and didn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon, so Doyle risked looking away to address his friend.  “That might work if she were down in the cafe, but I can’t just walk up to her out of the blue, interrupt her browsing, and offer to buy her a coffee.  That would just be weird.”

“Then offer to buy her a book,” Ryan suggested, really trying to help because he knew Doyle needed a little shove to get back into the game.

“Dude, those books she’s looking at are hardcovers.  They’re probably in the $25 to $30 range,” Doyle pointed out quickly because the idea had already crossed his mind.  “That’s a little too steep my budget.”

bookheartRyan pulled out his wallet to see if he could offer any financial assistance because that’s what a good wingman did.  He assumed he was still considered a wingman in a bookstore attraction scenario.  However, the seven dollars he had to his name was not going to be of much help to his friend.

“Maybe you could go over there and pretend to be looking for a book?” Ryan was really just grasping at straws now.

“Eastern European Religion?” Doyle countered with a snicker.  “I don’t know anything about the topic.  She’d see right through me.”

Ryan shrugged.  “Maybe it’s for the better.  If she’s into Eastern European Religion, you might have nothing in common.  You can’t base a relationship on mere attraction because after a while, you’ve got nothing to talk about, right?”

Doyle nodded in agreement and admitted defeat.  He gave her one last longing look, sighed, and went back to reading.

He didn’t think it was fair that he couldn’t just walk up to an attractive woman and strike up a conversation, but dating had its rules and if anything, Doyle was a rule follower.

“Excuse me?  I’m sorry to bother you, but there are no clerks around, you’re tall, and I could really use some help getting a book up on one of the higher shelves.”

Doyle knew before he even looked up that it was her.  There was just something about the voice.  When he did finally glance up at her, she was as beautiful in person as she’d been in profile from across the room.  Now there was a gorgeous smile and big brown eyes to give him goosebumps.

Ryan kicked him under the table because he was apparently staring and not answering the very attractive young lady who’d come to ask his assistance.

“I’d love to help you,” Doyle answered and then followed her across the room to the Eastern European Religion shelves.

“I’m Sara,” she said as she flashed him a shy smile.

“Doyle,” was all he could bring himself to say because he still couldn’t believe he was walking with her and had his opening to talk to her.  A million things were going through his mind.  What should he say?  Could he ask her out?  Should he ask her out?

“Which book is it?” was what he finally decided to go with as an opening line once they arrived at the shelves.

Sara blushed.  “I don’t really want a book,” she admitted.  “I was sitting over there and I thought you were cute, so I came over here hoping you’d notice me and start a conversation.  I don’t know anything about Eastern European Religion.  I just didn’t know how to walk up to a handsome guy in a bookstore and start a conversation.  It’s not like a bar, you know?”

book loveShe giggled nervously and Doyle’s stomach did a little happy dance.

“I know exactly what you mean,” he assured her.  “There’s a cafe downstairs.  Do you maybe want to grab something there and chat?”

Sara smiled and nodded.

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Love, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to The Bookstore Attraction Conundrum

  1. JackieP says:

    Nice story Austin. Go to bookstores, lots of bookstores. Stay out of the bars. 😉

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I need to hang out in more bookstores, and possibly grow shorter. 🙂

  3. jessiemartinovic says:

    Wonderful 🙂

  4. markbialczak says:

    Nice tale, Austin. Very hopeful.

  5. I loved this! This isn’t all we get though is it? I really want to know what happens. 🙂

  6. Pamela Edwards says:

    Austin , your just full of surprises ! Love it !

  7. ksbeth says:

    cute, austin. and i’m a hopeless romantic too )

  8. redfoxinict says:

    Reblogged this on SEABreeze Transport and commented:
    In the blog world anything is possible. If you doubt me then read on. This story will prove how far exactly anything is possible in the blog world. Wait. Anything is possible in the real world too. So never mind. Read on for the pleasure of reading. It’s quite an interesting story.

  9. redfoxinict says:

    I shared it. It’s a good story. Wish something this wonderful could happen to me again, just one more time. Actually it has inspired me to share a story of mine now.

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  11. Louise says:

    Reblogged this on Valencia Princess is Living Outside The Hexagon. and commented:
    Once again My blog friend Austin has come to all our rescues. A short poignant read that does give hope for all of us alone.

  12. markbialczak says:

    Reblogged this on Mark Bialczak and commented:
    My friend Austin pens a hopeful short story from the House on the Hill in Maine, a little romance as it still can be. I think it sets a good tone for my single blogging friends as we get ready to turn the page to 2015. Great page-turne, Austin.

  13. Doobster418 says:

    Great, heartwarming tale. Mark B sent me over and I may just have to stick around.

    • Austin says:

      Thank you. Mark is a great guy. Glad you liked my optimistic tale about the dating world. Please do stick around, I’m always on the look out for new Modern Philosophers! 🙂 Welcome!

  14. hollie says:

    Have you tried this out yet?

    • Austin says:

      Waiting for a pretty girl to come ask me to get a book off a high shelf? Not yet, but I will. I am tall… 🙂

      • hollie says:

        So is Michelle Obama, but she doesn’t care for it when people ask her to reach things, apparently. I hope throwing out the book story will generate some good book karma your way and make you lucky in the bookstore. Note I did not say get lucky in the bookstore, but that is implied.

      • Austin says:

        Thanks, Hollie. I will keep you posted. 🙂

  15. ermigal says:

    I enjoyed your story, Austin–very sweet and innocent, and we can use more of that in the world. 🙂

  16. Sabina says:

    Bookstores are an easy way to strike up conversation, I think. Based on the section of the store, you can talk about authors or possibly find a pun/joke about the topic. Eastern European religion, maybe less so, but hey. I’d love for some bookish dude to chat me up while I’m browsing.

  17. Kate Loveton says:

    Sweet tale – I enjoyed it.

  18. E.L. Wicker says:

    This has to be the one for me – the one I share for your birthday. It showcases your writing talents and I really enjoyed reading it. Happy Birthday, Austin 🙂

  19. Reblogged this on Random Musings And Wanderlust and commented:
    I don’t remember exactly what it was that introduced me to The Modern Philosopher and his keen writings, but I’m so glad I stumbled upon his page and this particular post. Doyle and Sara, ahh young love, and a bookstore. I love vintage bookstores, well they all seem vintage as of late because they are so rare, and after just recently having a conversation about the good old days of meeting someone in a bookstore, this just hit me in that soft spot. Give it a read, and the rest of the blog as well. You won’t be disappointed…

  20. Lovely story, well written….i wanted to read more.

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  22. robjodiefilogomo says:

    So good…..

  23. Why are all the cute freckled bespectacled girls named Sara? Looking forward to another installment of this one.

  24. Your words are always so enrapturing, you even allured me into a tale of puppy love. 😉

  25. The bookstore guys are the true keepers ❤

  26. Silly Mummy says:

    Nice story. I personally think meeting someone in a bookstore would have a way better chance of turning out well than meeting someone in a bar!

    • Austin says:

      I like the idea, too, but how do you go up to someone at a bookstore? In a bar a social approach is expected and you can buy a drink, but in a bookstore, I feel there is an expectation of privacy. Don’t you agree?

  27. lsgaitan23 says:

    Love this. Fifteen ears back my friend, a self-styled psychic, said she “saw” me meeting the man for me somewhere around books. I hung out at the Borders (still existed then) around the corner from my house for weeks on end, nothing! I actually ended up marrying a guy who had once been my student in an adult ESL class, you know, where we used BOOKS! 😉

  28. Tony says:

    I would vastly prefer to meet a woman at a bookstore rather than a bar. Doyle is a lucky guy!

  29. sharonduerst says:

    Cute story, Austin! Reminded me of one really from my Freshman year in the dorms. Here’s the brief: roommate has blurry set of binoculars we use to watch some across the street to guys’ dorm where they’re building something…One dark haired guy seems cute…4 terms later, a guy walks up to me after a class, says, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere…” I think it’s just a line until he says, “You’re the girl with binoculars!” He asks me out, but I don’t go because I have a serious boyfriend by then. Anything can lead to a positive encounter!

  30. reshaels says:

    Ah… If only this happened in real life Austin… *sigh. I loved reading this one too! 🙂

  31. *sigh* I’m in agreement with all of your readers here, this was undeniably sweet. You have a real knack for creating these scenarios, they play out so believably in front of me, as if the words are coming to life. Plus, the characters are always so likeable. 🙂

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  35. Julie Reeser says:

    I loved your mastery of the body language throughout the story. Everyone was in motion without it being a distraction.

  36. kristianw84 says:

    Aww, this is such acute story!

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