A Bookstore Encounter

Paula Dotson Frew
2 min readSep 8, 2021


Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

The discount bookstore was Annabelle’s favorite place to spend a weekend afternoon. The shop was perfect for such a hardcore bibliophile. The store had been her weekend haunt for a couple of years, and there weren’t many customers on this Saturday.

As she browsed the shelves, she selected a couple of books and placed them in her basket. She couldn’t understand why the shop wasn’t packed. They carried a wide array of books at bargain-basement prices. There was only a handful of people in the entire store.

Annabelle routinely saved her favorite section for last. It typically had no one browsing there, and it gave her time to savor the selections. At last, she came to a rather large book containing a collection of Poe’s works…ALL of his works! Annabelle could not believe her eyes or her luck. There was only one copy, and she reached for it with trembling fingers.

As her fingers touched the book another set of fingers touched hers. Her first thought was that of course, she had touched the book first. It was hers.

She turned to point this out to the interloper when she saw it was a man who was looking quite chagrinned.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I just saw the book and instinctively reached for it. I love Poe. My mother loved his works, too. That’s how I got my name.”

“That’s how I got my name, too. I touched the book first. I’m certain you will agree it is mine.”

“I do agree. Would it be presumptuous for me to ask the name inspired by your mother’s love of Poe?”

“My name is Annabelle. Annabelle Lee. What, may I ask is your name?

“Edgar. Edgar Allen,” he said with a pink tinge to his cheeks.

“It is nice to meet you, Edgar. Would you tell me what it is you love about Poe?”

Annabelle and Edgar talked about the works of Poe and their admiration of him for an hour, sitting on a bench near the shelf.

As she gave him her phone number, she thought what a lovely man he was. As they parted ways at the cashier, he thought what a beautiful woman with a lovely name.



Paula Dotson Frew

I love to write and self-published my first book of poetry last year, a book of Haiku this year, and a book of short stories later this year!