Bell, Book, and Candle
Down an alley off Main Street, a small wooden sign hangs from a wrought-iron bracket projecting from the brick wall on the right side. The sign reads, “Biblioporium,” and beneath that, “Fine Books and Stationary Supplies—Dr. Alfred Granger, Proprietor.” In smaller letters, the very bottom reads, “Est. 1891.” The sign swings over a narrow set of flagstone steps that run parallel to the wall and descend into an arched vestibule resting below the level of the alley.
The stout wooden door has been painted forest green and sports a single cut glass window with a snowflake design. There is a hasp for a padlock at about chest level, and another keyhole for a deadbolt a bit lower. The curved handle has a thumb latch that no longer works properly. A small wooden sign hangs on a hook screwed into the door. One side reads, “Open, Please Enter,” while the reverse says, “Sorry, We’re Closed.” Pushing the door open rings a small brass bell anchored to the frame overhead.
Inside, the odor of pipe tobacco, a mixture of cherry and almond scents, fills the place. A plush but worn red carpet covers the floors, stained darker in the doorway. Large bookshelves constructed of rich, dark wood line every wall from floor to ceiling and create rows in the middle. An L-shaped counter sits to the right of the door, resting atop a glass display case containing numerous rare and wondrous writing implements—old pens, inkwells, nib cutters, and so forth.