The Magic Reading Jar

Mr. Mercer was a strange old man, and he didn’t stock many new books in his store. In fact, most of the ones he sold were out of print. When I asked him about it, he said that books contain timeless wisdom, and so they have no expiration date. New books, he said, often contained no wisdom at all, and so had gone bad before they were printed.

I liked to come and walk between the narrow shelves, marveling at the strange titles, until I found something that caught my fancy, pulled it out, and lay on the carpeted floor reading accounts of far away and long ago, or learning all about some strange and enchanting subject.

He sat at a little counter by the door with a glass jam jar on it filled with these wonderful little candies. I called it his magic reading jar. When he saw me come in, he always took out a candy and gave it to me. I would put it in my mouth, and it would always last just until I was done reading, and when I closed the book, it would be gone.

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