The Scribe and Slate

Waterstones, Deansgate

After ‘The Moon Under Water’ by George Orwell

My favourite bookshop, The Scribe and Slate, floats on a large river. It is the size of a semi-detached house, but it moves the same way a barge would.

It is open 24/7, housing every genre of book you could possibly think of. You don’t need a single penny to shop there because it runs on a trade for trade basis. It is manned by Absinthe, the resident cat. He wears a gilded monocle and a bow-tie. 

The architecture is Tudor. Persian curtains act as a doorway to The Scribe and Slate. The wallpaper is black with an iridescent moon border going from one edge to the other. The bookcases are made out of recycled memory foam, reinforced with Egyptian marble. There are gramophones emitting fairy music in all corners. 

What makes The Scribe and Slate unique is the existence of a refreshments suite. You can find every drink in the world on tap there. More than a dozen pumps seek to satisfy your tastebuds. Not only can you quench your thirst, but you can fill your belly with pastries from a vending machine you can adjust to your personal taste. 

Upstairs, you can visit our designated hypnosis suite where you will be transported to the world of your favourite novel. There are no time limits on how long you have, so do feel comfortable to stay forever. There are plenty of pods for everyone to experience the same thing, so do not worry about taking up room. 

In The Scribe and Slate you will find a new sense of purpose. In each book, there is a small gift, all completely unique to the ones who find them. This offering will make a great change to your life, and nothing you do will ever be the same again. Rest assured you will be looked after, and all that you say is confidential to the establishment. 

Unlike other bookshops, The Scribe and Slate allows you to rest your head within its walls. In the cellar, there are various sleeping bags for you to use, and you mustn’t forget the bag of essentials attached. Within this bookshop, time turns to myth. You no longer exist within a moving world. 

The greatest surprise is the secret door that leads to a terrarium; one that houses a giant diving bell spider. You will find you are able to breathe, but don’t panic, for that is the magic of the terrarium. You will also find you are completely dry when you return to browsing the shelves. Perhaps you will feel as though you are being watched by what you can’t see. 

When you first step through, you will be prompted to input your bookish desires, and you will see that a few spots light up. Those are the places where you will find what you want, no matter how obscure or outlandish it may be. 

Those who seek to rid the world of Art and Culture will never be able to see The Scribe and Slate. Despite knowing it exists, they will be blind to its structure, protecting the world from their fear of immortalised truth. This incapability will force them to acknowledge the paranormal, therefore, they must implement laws to ensure we are armed against the unknown once and for all. 

Of course, no bookshop exists. However, The Scribe and Slate is a place I believe should become a reality. All too often I am underwhelmed by the clinical nature of bookshops that exist today. The more rustic ones are often claustrophobic and lack the variety necessary to cater to the needs of a nation. 

There are some gems in small corners of the world, but they are as rare as any other. While conservative politicians seek to push their propaganda against the arts, it is more important than ever to have these places of solace available on every street corner, at all times of day, everywhere you go. 

If you are reading this years from now, I would like to believe The Scribe and Slate is as common to man as brushing one’s teeth.


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