There's something about bookstores that lightens my heart. Adds a bounce to my step, if you will.

Perhaps it's the bright picture windows, blanketing the entire building and everything in it with natural light. Or the giant chairs that make it so easy to curl up and fall asleep. Soothing elevator music and the familiar smell of espresso. Row after row of beautifully bound books, all eloquently categorized by genre and author. Then there's the endless options of unread stories, a plethora of possibilities to sift through.

Or perhaps it's the memories that get me. Of our scattered talk in between the gentle rustle of magazine pages. The taste of chai flavored milk, steamed to perfection, and the occasional slice of chocolate cheesecake. Once—to my secret dissatisfaction—a tart apple purse, devoured in mere seconds. Sounds of laughter, in the sweetest key, followed by the click of a shutter. Two, sometimes three clicks in a row, taken in hopes of capturing every genuine smile and gesture. The subjects' looks of feigned annoyance, easily ignored. More uncontrollable laughter. Shushes from a grumpy Santa look-alike who couldn't possibly understand. Hours of people-watching and secret-sharing that feel like minutes, interrupted only by the manager's voice over the intercom, announcing the close of another day.

Whatever it is that makes me feel completely at home here, I know one thing's for sure. A bookstore is the best kind of haven. And one day, I will build my own.