I have one rule about sudden staircases. You must go up them. As evidenced in my post about Green Lake, I’m not hesitant to do so.

When I was walking in downtown Camden, I saw a small sign, the non-90s pop song kind, when passing by a doorway. I made a comedic, Looney Toon break squealing sound effect, dead stop in my tracks.

It was a bookstore, and it was atop a set of mysterious, dark stairs.

Let’s goooooo, whimpers the tiny, stick figure Driftyland Missy from my sketchpads and coffee shop napkins. I slurp my unsweetened tea, as she perches herself on my shoulder. I decisively walk through the doorway, and she gleefully swings back and forth from my earlobe in delight.


When I enter the small, cramped bookstore, I’m greeted by a super focused, 70sish man. Driftyland Missy disappears with an imagined poof.

“Hi,” I say sweetly. “Can I bring this in here?”

I gesture to the tea.

He peers at me above his glasses.

“How much is left in it?” he asks, setting down his paperwork.

“Less than half,” I slosh it around in the cup. “I promise I’ll be super duper careful.”

He nods, mumbling as I make my way around the shelves.

“People say that,” he murmurs. “Then they trip.”

I poke through, taking note of a few dog-eared Hemingways.



On the way out, I noticed an open door across the hall. Behind it, nirvana, with bookcases on bookcases, stacks of hardcovers under a near 9ft tall ceiling. I obviously didn’t go in, but somewhat captured the glory.