book display

I’ve had a weird day where my local library, which is tiny and located in a place you honestly don’t really want to be ~out, included lgbt romance in their little romance display of books/movies, and my white baby boomer parents schooled somebody who was being racist on institutionalized racism.

I feel like for half a day today, i lived life in another timeline, and was not stuck in the ~darkest timeline. 

modern hp ladies
  • ravenclaw: orders tons of new bookshelves for the common room so everyone can put up their books on display; lives with their laptop, never lets it out of their sight; thick sensible coats and lace-up shoes; constantly chipped nail polish; any attempts at a messy bun always end up looking too messy; long debates in the common room that can sometimes go on until dawn; shared study mixes on spotify.
  • hufflepuff: multi-coloured nail polishes scattered around which everyone just shares; an odd-socks box in the common room; always using the camera on their phone, capturing every moment; big fluffy jumpers; cute messages written in steam on the mirrors in the bathroom; monthly full-house slumber parties with popcorn and movies.
  • slytherin: black doc martins and fitted leather jackets; chewed down nails; scattered eyeliner pencils in the bathroom; "these are MY doc martins" "no they're MINE"; secret journals with weekly goals; inside jokes; styling each others hair.
  • gryffindor: gold accessories - necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings; oversized jean jackets; friday night is games night, and anyone can join in for a full night of board games; the black market in the common room, if you know who to ask you can get all sorts of forbidden goods; red lipstick kisses stained on all the mirrors.

Please fire me. I work at a small bookstore in an airport. Because of our limited space, we’re very strict about what titles we carry: we only keep books that sell. Sales are carefully monitored and if something isn’t selling at a sustainable rate, it’s pulled from the shelves.

One book we don’t sell is the Bible. We periodically have customers asking for a Bible, but aside from mild annoyance, they rarely make an issue when we inform them we don’t have any. However, I had a customer come in a few weeks ago and ask where we kept our Bibles.

“I’m sorry, we don’t carry any Bibles,” I told her.

“Why not?” she demanded.

“Our store is small and we don’t have the room for them,” I said.

“No room, huh?” she said. She pointed to a book on display called Ghost Bride. “But you have room for books on ghosts?”

“It’s one of our staff picks for the month.” It was my staff pick, actually. “If you’re interested, we do have a small religion section.”

She grumbled a bit, but let me take her to the shelf of religion books to browse. She returned to the register a few moments later with a used copy of A Purpose-Driven Life. I rang up her book and handed it to her, thanking her for her purchase. She lingered by the register, packing her book into her luggage, gathering up her bags, checking to make sure she had her boarding pass and ID.

Once she was all situated, she straightened, looked me in the eyes and announced, “I will PRAY for this store,” and swept out.

The next day I told this story to a coworker who’s been at our location for 7 years. After I’d finished the story (and he’d finished rolling his eyes), I said, “Why don’t we have any Bibles? Enough people ask for one, I’d think we’d be able to sell a copy or two.”

“We used to have Bibles,” he said, “but they barely sold. People would come in and ask for one, but not buy it. They were just checking to make sure we had them. I think we were being tested.”

Over the course of the books, characters display a variety of reactions to hearing Harry’s name. Even Ron and Hermione are a little awkward at first.

But Molly Weasley’s reaction is very different from any of the other reactions we see, and hints at the role she’ll play in Harry’s life in later books

If you recall, Fred tells Mrs. Weasley that the black-haired boy they had met on the other side of the platform was Harry Potter. At this point, Harry is on the train, so Mrs. Weasley has no idea Harry can hear her through the compartment window.

But instead of the awe, dislike, or curiosity expressed by other characters, Mrs. Weasley’s first reaction is sympathy and concern.

She refers to him as “poor dear” and “poor boy,” and tells Ginny that Harry “isn’t something you goggle at in a zoo.” 

When Fred wonders whether Harry remembers what You-Know-Who looks like, Mrs. Weasley becomes “extremely stern” and forbids Fred from asking Harry about You-Know-Who, saying that Harry doesn’t need to be reminded of something like that on his first day of school.

While the rest of the wizarding world views Harry as the almost mythical boy-who-lived, Mrs. Weasley has always seen Harry as an orphan in need of homemade fudge, hand-knitted jumpers, and a loving family.

Beautiful bookstores from around the world:

The bookstore El Péndulo started off as a combination coffee shop and bookstore in 1992—today, with six branches in total, it is one of the most important cultural centers in Latin America. It even has a bar inside named after Bukowski. Oh, and there’s nothing quite like that sleek curved staircase for a glamorous, book-filled entry down to the main floor. Photo by @danielae


Istanbul might not be the first to come to mind when you think of cities with unique bookstores, but it sure is now. FiLBooks describes itself as “a space dedicated to photo books, artist talks and workshops in Karaköy.” I mean, swings in a bookstore? Are you kidding me? Amazing. Photo by @sezgiolgac


With our headquarters in San Francisco, we’re honored to live in a city that is home to a bookstore so heavily steeped in literary and Beat Generation history—City Lights Bookstore. As the first all-paperback bookshop in the United States and publisher to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, the store mantra couldn’t be more fit: “A literary meeting place since 1953.” Photo by @cestchristine


Just as we’re suckers for a hand-painted storefront, we’re equally suckers for bright neon signage; something about neon gas pumping through the word “Books” in cursive has us swooning. The amazing display of books stacked in a never-ending tier doesn’t hurt, either. Photo by @chloeferres


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The Bookstore

Hey guys! It’s me again, and I sorta wanted to write a Tom meet-cute because I daydream about those 25/8? This is just soft, fluffy and sweet, I hope you like it!
Author’s note: Tom is my screensaver and I went to Barnes and Noble today and the girl that was ringing me up was really, really nice and we were talking about Marvel because I was buying a comic, (I finally found Spider-Man Blue, three cheers for me!) and she was literally like, “oh my gosh, you and Tom would be super adorable together! I can just see it now!” And I sort of died? So this is just a story branching off of that?
The Bookstore
“Is that your boyfriend?” The saleslady asked, referencing the girl’s phone, as a smile that stretched from ear to ear crossed over her features. “He comes in quite often, has mostly good taste in books, although, sometimes his choices are questionable at best. Likes fantasy and adventure, some good, some not.”
The girl’s eyes widened and her mouth flopped open and shut like a guppy’s as she attempted to stutter out an appropriate response.
Tom Holland was the girl’s screensaver, and no, he most definitely wasn’t her boyfriend because he had no idea that she existed. Even if he had stumbled across her fan account, she’d just be another fan to Tom, maybe she’d even stand out for being an ultimate creep.
“He’s a very polite boy, you’re so lucky! My daughters are only interested in self-obsessed assholes.” The lady began to scan her choices, continuing to rant about her daughter’s apparent bad taste in men.
The girl was still struggling to comprehend her situation. The saleswoman clearly knew Tom, who apparently came in often, as did she, so she couldn’t really say that he wasn’t her boyfriend without looking like an utter and complete weirdo.
Pondering, she bit the inside of her cheek. Their paths had never crosses, so what could be the harm in indulging in a little fantasy? “We’ve been dating since last Spring,” She said, not daring to look into the kind eyes of the saleswoman.
“Ah, I see. I bet you two look absolutely adorable together, maybe turn him onto some high quality literature next time he comes in, eh?” The woman smiled from across the counter, waving the girl’s new Philip Roth books in the air before handing them over.
Reaching for her five purchases, the girl smiled and nodded, “I’ll do my very best!” She called and waved as she left the store.
Over the next few days, Tom wandered back into the bookstore. Navigating his way down the store’s narrow aisles, Tom searched for something that he could read on the plane that he’d inevitably be boarding sometime soon. He paused every so often to pick up a book, glance over the summary on the back, and reshelve it to it’s proper home.
After shuffling down another section, he came across the very same saleswoman who had helped the girl moonlighting as his girlfriend.
“How come you guys never come in together? She knows some good authors, I’m sure she’d love to help broaden your horizons.” The saleswoman said, maintaining her position, crouched over to straighten and tidy the shelves.
Tom looked around, unsure of who the woman was speaking to, because as far as he knew, none of his friends knew about this store. They opted for Barnes and Noble, while he prefered to dig.
“Yes, you. I just met your girlfriend and she’s lovely. Great taste in books.” The woman said again.
Scratching his head, Tom wasn’t exactly sure what to say, so he played along, not wanting to be rude. Surely she must be confusing him with someone else, because he didn’t have a girlfriend to share books with, as much as he’d like one.
“Yeah, we just have different schedules, she’s usually in class when I peruse the bookstore.” Tom said, bending down to help the woman on the floor.
“She’s very cute, and very sweet. It’s nice to see young people reading something that isn’t their twitter feed.” The woman said, taking one last glance at the fixed up shelf, before nodding decisively and standing up.
Tom stood as well, chuckling, “My Dad’s an author, so reading has always been apart of my life.”
“You guys are lovely, let me know if I can be of any help.” The woman began to walk away and Tom shook his head and laughed.
“How do you know that my girl is my girl? We never come in at the same time.” Tom asked suddenly, curiosity leaking into his bloodstream.
“She comes in more often than you, buys more books than you, and you’re her screensaver. It’s quite cute, actually.” The saleslady called out.
There it is, Tom thought, she might be a fan. He couldn’t think of any other reason that he’d be her screensaver. Shoving his hands into his pockets, Tom smirked and picked out not one, but two books. One to leave at the register for her the next time that he came in, and one for him to read while he was on the press tour.
“That is so thoughtful! She’ll love it!” The woman said from behind the cash register, clapping her hands together. “I’ll make sure that she gets it, alright? Wanna put a little message in it, promise I won’t peak! I’ve got a pen right here!” She chirped happily.
“Yeah, alright, I’ll actually do that. Could I please borrow your pen?” Tom asked.
Drawing a heart to conclude the note to his ‘girlfriend’ that he’d never met, he said thank you one to the lady one last time and left the store.
The very next morning, the girl pushed her wallet back into her purse at the bookstore’s register, waiting for the same saleswoman to finish ringing her up.
“Saw your boyfriend yesterday, left a little something for you.” The saleswoman smiled, turning around to sift through the books on display behind her to find Tom’s choice for the girl.
The girl felt the fiery licks of scarlet coloring her skin again. Her hands shook, surely Tom thought that she was a mega, ultra stalker. He’d probably left her a note begging her to kindly fuck off. She wished Mother Earth would swallow her up the same way it did to Sita in ‘The Ramayana.’
“Don’t be embarrassed, silly, it’s endearing.” The woman handed her a book titled, ‘Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair’ by Pablo Neruda. “He’s paid for it, of course, and he left you a little note on the first page. Lent him the pen myself.”
“He really shouldn’t have,” the girl stuttered, her hands almost noticeably shaking as she held the book within her palms.
Inside, Tom had scribbled out,
Seeing as you’re my girlfriend, I thought it was only fitting to leave you at least twenty love poems. Left you a song of despair as well, seeing as we haven’t met yet.
Love always,
Your devoted boyfriend, Tom

“Could I go back and pick one out for him as well?” The girl asked, feeling a tiny bit braver after reading Tom’s cheeky message for her.
“Of course! I love this, I wish more couples did things like this for each other, it’s endearing!” The saleswoman smiled, shutting the register.
After picking out an appropriate novel, she left the store, smiling, blushing and practically gliding on air.
Later that very afternoon, Tom was chased by the overbearing coldness of the afternoon breeze, and his own excitement over whether or not she’d received his present, back into the bookstore.
Not even bothering to look at anything, he came to a halt in front of the saleswoman, who upon seeing him enter, tore through her display to retrieve the novel that she’d left for him.
“Did she get it? Did she like it, I haven’t heard from her yet.” Tom asked, beaming at the woman.
“She loved it! She loved it so much, in fact, that she’s left one for you as well.” She handed him a novel called ‘One Day.’ “She’s left a love note for you as well!”
Tearing the book open, Tom came across her delicate handwriting sprawled in black ink.
Here’s to hoping that I meet you one day.
With all the love in my heart-
Your mystery girlfriend
Fighting the urge to hug the book closer to his chest, Tom made a choice.
“I’m going to go pick her a book out right now, and I’m going to wait right here until she comes back in. I want to give her this one in person.” Tom turned on his heel to search for the perfect book for to give her, when the saleswoman informed him that she’d already been in today.
“Alright then, I’ll be back first thing tomorrow.” Tom blushed, but continued on his way down through the shelves, desperate to find the perfect book for her.
Deciding on ‘You,’ by Caroline Kepnes, Tom paid and left the store, planning to return right when the bookstore opened.
The very next morning, Tom was perched in a cushy, plush chair, obscured by stacks and shelves housing novels, waiting for her. He’d positioned himself perfectly, ensuring that he could see the register at all times, but that the people at the register wouldn’t be able to spot him, unless they knew where he was hiding.
He was completely on edge. Every time the door opened, he’d practically leap to his feet, only to be met with disappointment because mostly everyone who wandered in off the street was either male, or too old to be his mystery girlfriend.
Finally, when Tom had all but lost hope, a girl so otherworldly beautiful that Tom truly debated in his mind whether or not the girl was even a girl, he briefly wondered if she was an ethereal fairy of sorts, floated into the room.
Her hair reflected light the same way that waves in the sea did, and her voice was so soft and warm that it sounded as he imagined his favorite hot drink would taste. She waved hello to the saleswoman before diving into the poetry section, hidden deep within the store.
Jumping to his feet, Tom rushed to finally meet her, rolling the book he planned to give her in between his palms.
Checking his hair one more time, Tom came to a stop next to her.
“Excuse me miss, I was just wondering if you happen to be my mystery girlfriend, who apparently has better taste in books than me?” Tom’s confidence was evaporating as she turned around to face him.
She was even prettier up close and Tom wanted to scratch his own eyes out for beginning the conversation with such a shit line.
Thankfully, she smiled, a strawberry jam colored blush widening across her delicate features. “That would be me, but unfortunately, you’ve caught me off guard and now I don’t have anything to give to you.” Her eyes refused to meet his own for more than a few seconds.
She could barely believe any of this. First, her celebrity crush and her happened to both shop at the same bookstore. Then, he goes along with the charade of being her boyfriend, and even leaves her gifts, and now, he was standing in front of her.
He looked like Prince Charming and her brain was turning to mush.
“Lucky for you, I don’t mind. But, I do have a book for you.” Holding the novel, ‘You,’ out to her, he began to sway from foot to foot, nervous that she’d hate it.
“Funny enough, that’s one of my favorite books,” She laughed, “But are you planning to kill me?” She referenced the plot of ‘You,’ which was more or less a horror story, hardly the conventional romance.
Stuttering, Tom attempted to clear his name. “I just thought it was fitting, seeing as we met in a bookstore, and so did Joe and Beck,” the main characters who become romantically involved in the novel, “And really, I just wanted you to have the line about the mouse in the house.”
“Are you going to get a cat to chase me out?” She teased, and Tom laughed.
“Absolutely not, you’re just all I’ve been thinking about. I wanna know you, and learn from your apparently epic choices in literature.” Tom said, leaning in closer to her.
“Than sit, and I’ll pick you something out?” She questioned, shyly moving to sit on the floor, her arm curled around more than a few options.
The pair scooched into one another one the floor, and the saleswoman watched, smiling from her spot at the register. Her two favorite customers were finally together.
Her eyes twinkled as she turned the radio onto a station that played only love songs.
They read love poems, and love stories together, so it only seemed fair that they listened to only love songs as well.

Bard Week: Magically Musical Equipment

I decided to come up with a bunch of bard-friendly or bard-specific magic items since bards don’t get much love in terms of treasure other than generic weapons or that short list of magic instruments that just cast spells. These are at least unique or interesting, but some are a bit “out there.” If you are a loose DM and your players like having a laugh, these items are perfect for you.


Accelerating Wardrum

Uncommon, requires attunement by a bard

This Behir skin stretched over a black wooden drum can be beaten as a bonus action once per round. Doing so moves a creature the bard chooses to be moved one step ahead in the initiative order.

Rapier of Harmony

Very Rare, requires attunement by a bard

A thin silver +1 rapier that hums when swung. The wielder can use a bonus action to make a Performance check. On a result of 16 or higher, the rapier vibrates and creates a tone that harmonizes with the wielder’s voice. The next attack deals bonus damage equal to the bard’s CHA modifier.

Resounding Scimitar

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

Whenever a creature fails an attack roll against a bard wielding this gleaming white scimitar with a wavy hilt and pattern, the bard can use their reaction to whack the creature’s weapon with the scimitar and cause a loud, grating noise to deal 1d6 thunder damage to the attacker if they fail a DC 14 CON saving throw.

Song of Activation

Special (Song)

A specific song that when played, will activate known magical items or runes in the world. [Use this song as treasure that can progress the plot, almost like finding a key to the next room of a dungeon. Think of learning a new song in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time]

Song of Prestidigitation/Thaumaturgy/Druidcraft

Special (Song)

A specific song that when played, can mimic the effects of a Prestidigitation, Thaumaturgy, or Druidcraft spell, respectively. [A song that can be learned by a bard that is relatively harmless to the integrity of your campaign’s storyline]

Biting Words

Special (Words)

Powerful words that the bard can speak with their magic to deal 1d6 cold damage at a range of 60 ft. This damage increases by one die at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels. [basically a new cantrip for bards that deals more damage than Vicious Mockery but doesn’t impose disadvantage]

Orb of Radiant Song

Common, requires attunement by a bard

Much like a Driftglobe, but only produces light while the bard is singing. [It has slightly less uses than a Driftglobe thanks to negating attempts to move silently with it lit, and its attunement restriction, so it’s meant for the very early game.]

Backup Golem

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

A tiny golem or animated object that comes to life only when the attuned bard is performing. The golem gives the bard advantage on its Performance checks as it embellishes or harmonizes with whatever the bard does for their performance.

Sassy Friend

Uncommon

A tiny totem or charm that is shaped like a mask. When the wielder attempts to make an Insight check to determine if a creature is lying, the Sassy Friend charm animates temporarily with a backhanded comment, which it says aloud (whether or not the creature was lying). This decreases the DC to determine any lie by 1. This bonus does not stack with itself or other Sassy Friends.

Sassy Friend (Greater)

Rare

 A Sassy Friend charm that can also cast Zone of Truth once per day, centered on itself.

Nolzur’s Marvellous Pigments

Very Rare

This is an item that many bards would love to use but people always forget it exists. Whatever you paint becomes real! As long as it isn’t magical.

Cloak of Dancing

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

A bard who dances while wearing this audacious red cloak can fascinate nearby creatures, affecting them in a manner similar to an Enthrall spell, once per day. The bard need not concentrate on this effect, and in fact may make a Performance check against the onlookers’ Insight checks any time during the cloak’s Enthrall effect to animate the cloak and sneak out of it as it continues to dances and enthrall its audience.

Horn of Calling

Uncommon

An iron-bound animal horn acts as a magic megaphone that amplifies the volume of noises that pass through it. The Horn of Calling can also cast Whispering Wind once per day.

Cursed Collar of Tongues

Rare

A golden lace choker that allows the wearer to speak any language, but never quite what they intend to say. Whenever the player wishes to speak, the player says what they intend to say and then the DM blurts out what they inevitably say instead. A DC 20 Insight check will determine what exactly is wrong with the victim and a DC 18 Insight check will allow the player to get their true message across to a character. The player must overcome a CHA save to avoid having their next sentence bastardized by the DM. Each successful saving throw deals 1 psychic damage to the wearer as it the collar fights back against their efforts. The collar cannot be removed except by repressing its magic long enough to remove it, or by casting a Tongues or Comprehend Languages spell upon it along with a DC 15 Arcana check.

Death Whistle

Very Rare

A small bone whistle carved with symbols and imagery of death. The whistle, when blown, casts Circle of Death centered on the whistle. The DC for the spell is equal to the blower’s spell save DC. Once used, the whistle crumbles to dust as its shrill, eerie note echoes into the distance.

Ribbon of Hyucks

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

When this purple ribbon with white polka dots is worn by a bard, whenever the bard makes a pun, all creatures within earshot that understand the wordplay must make a DC 11 CHA save or take 1 psychic damage. This ability can only occur once per round and does not discriminate friend or foe.

Crossbow of the Fartongue

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

This crossbow is fitted with a cone at the end of the barrel, and a scope that is sculpted to look like a mouth’s opening. The weapon allows the wielder to bestow their ammunition with a noise or verbal message of their choosing not exceeding 10 words. This noise plays once when the imbued bolt hits, but then its magic fades. The crossbow can be used to relay information at a distance, create a distraction, or mislead other creatures. If the wielder wishes for the noise to be an explosion, the ammunition deals 1 bonus Thunder damage on hit to all creatures within 5 feet of where the bolt hit. An explosion noise can be heard up to 600 ft. away. The crossbow is dotted with holes and can actually be played as a wooden flute when not in use as a combat weapon.

Cloak of Deflection

Rare

This garment appears to ebb and sway of its own accord even without any wind. The wearer of this iridescent blue cloak may spend their reaction to deflect a single, nonmagical missile targeting them to another creature within 60 feet of the wearer. If the new target of the attack’s AC is equal to or less than the original attack roll, the attack hits the new target and the attacker rolls for damage as normal.

Book of Dreams

Uncommon, requires attunement by a bard

The cover of this book is made with soft leather and is bound with spider silk string and rare bird feathers. The tome is blank, but when a story is told by someone attuned to it, illusionary imagery appears hovering above the book, acting out what the storyteller describes. In addition, when a story puts someone to sleep, the storyteller may allow the book to display and act out the sleeper’s dreams, which usually somehow tie in to the story that was being told. It can be useful for coaxing information out of friendly people without their knowledge.