Thoughts, updates, and other dispatches from Lincoln’s indy bookstore in the Historic Haymarket
Truth be told, I don’t want others to know how lovely mornings are at Indigo. Why? Because in its early hours—the store, the books, the coffee, the quiet—are all mine. Or so it seems. I’m not really alone. There is plenty happening in and around the store, most of which occurs in a bustling, quiet chorus.
When you open the store, one of the first things to do is to greet the trio of cats that live on the West side of the Creamery building. They are deeply suspicious, the way feral animals can be, but I’m always happy to see them even when their sneers seem specifically directed at me.
Inside the store, just before the doors are opened, the morning’s first pot of coffee is brewed on the café side and the aroma, I believe, is a wake up call for ideas to be laid down. Mornings and coffee, writers and coffee, readers and coffee, are inseparable. So when other writers and thinkers slink in, quietly placing their orders then finding their tables to work in the new morning light, some by longhand, some with computers, some puzzling over hard copy, some staring off into space, waiting for the coffee to seep in, it’s the closest I have to a shush mob: a collection of writers and thinkers who like to work alone, together.
Electronic devices that whoop and whistle for our attention surround us. Convenient, yes. Useful for on the spot organizing in the face of an injustice, invaluable. The downside is that technology often compels us to compress all thought into one hundred and twenty characters or a snapshot. Technology may not be making us stupid, to paraphrase Nicholas Carr’s famous think piece on the subject, but it sometimes makes us regrettably hasty. If there really is a “slow movement” (cooking, gardening, a concern about the poverty of time), bookstores are a reminder of the pleasures of things done slowly, whether it’s reading a good book in your lap, or allowing thoughts to brew into fiction, an essay, or a book.
Being a place where meaningful conversation can occur is a goal of Indigo Bridge, and as the day progresses, you may encounter groups of friends or colleagues who’ve chosen our space to discuss a book or share their concerns. The coffee is still on, but to be in the store when one of our baristas makes a batch of lavender syrup is exquisite. This, too, takes time.
As the day progresses, things pick up. The phone rings more often, books are delivered and others returned, the business of keeping a small, independent bookstore up and running takes over. But no matter how much I whine when that 5am alarm goes off, mornings at Indigo, whether I’m there to work the floor or write my truth, will always be divine.
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