• Bookstore clerks routinely have to ask you to leave, pointing out that the shop closed over a half hour ago and they don’t want to be rude, but …

• You spend all of Saturday organizing your personal library, painstakingly alphabetizing by authors’ last names. Favorite books go on face-out, so your eye falls on the beloved covers as you walk by.

• You wear book-scented perfume. Every day. That time you ran out, you rubbed a bit of library paste behind
your ears.

• You have a hard time rolling over in bed because you like to take all your reads-in-progress there with you. You never know which one will strike your fancy when you wake up in the middle of the night and need a few words, or the soothing sound of pages riffling between your fingers, or just the poke of an occasional hard corner or two.

• You spend all of Sunday reorganizing again. This time you shelve books by subject matter, moving in chronological order. That works, doesn’t it?

• You keep a journal. Maybe it’s in a spiral-bound notebook, maybe in a Moleskine, and maybe you spend a fortune on ribbons and rhinestones and doodads to ornament the cover and pages. It is your art; it is your book.

• The only thing stopping you from cracking Goodreads’s list of top ten reviewers is the fact that you read so much, you don’t have time for social media.

• You build a free community mini-library at the end of your driveway. You check every day to see what the neighbors have picked up and dropped off.

• You are asked to be a bridesmaid in a cousin’s wedding. You weigh the cost of the dress against your bookstore wish list, and you make the right choice. It’s not as if you two are all that close.

• You rearrange yet again, grouping your books by the emotions they inspire in you. What better way to organize your life than by what you love? Your journals get their own shelf in the case closest to hand, so you can write out your passions anytime.


Spring Book Lovers Cover by Enchanted Living MagazineEnchanted Living is a quarterly print magazine that celebrates all things enchanted. 
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Susann Cokal is the author of four novels, including the award-winning Kingdom of Little Wounds and her latest, Mermaid Moon, in which a mermaid goes ashore to find her mother, only to fall into the clutches of a witch who wants to harvest her magic. Cokal also writes short fiction and essays about oddities, and she lives in a haunted farmhouse with cats, peacocks, spouse, and unseen beings who bump in the night. “I’ve always suspected there was more to mermaids than the shipwrecks and love stories that lead them to land,” she says. “I’m glad I had the chance to figure them out in these changing times—both in the novel and here among the creatures of Enchanted Living.”