In order to pass the time while unpacking clothes at White House | Black Market, I reminisced a bit. Back in high school my dream was to attend the Culinary Institute of America (the other, tastier CIA), become an amazing chef, and open my own restaurant. I had all these ideas about themes and menus. There was one idea I had that I still remember which was to open a restaurant called The Inferno and serve really spicy food. The appetizers were going to be called “Warming up” and the desserts “Cooling off.” All that jazz. Of course I soon realized after thinking of the name that people might mistake it for a strip club. That probably would’ve caused some issues.
It was after speaking with one of The Cheesecake Factory’s head chefs that I realized that the life of a chef was not for me. Long hours, high stress, no sleep, etc. Not a good idea.
But I was passing time, so I started thinking about opening a restaurant again. I decided I should make my fantasy restaurant relate to my current career aspirations, and that is how I came up with the idea for my very own book cafe.
The cafe would be sectioned off like a bookstore. There would be a section for historical fiction, YA urban fantasy, nonfiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance novels. You name it. Each section would have a server who liked to read that particular genre, in case anyone needed a suggestion. The books would be free to read, though you’d be welcome to bring your own, and all the seats would be designed for a comfortable reading session. There would be a table, of course, and it would be a full service restaurant. It would just be a restaurant where you could sit and read while you ate.
Delicious foods cooked to order, and easy to eat with one hand. Soups, salads, sandwiches that are cut in half, pasta dishes that you can easily get your fork into like mac ‘n’ cheese and ravioli. No noodles, though. Too hard to eat those while concentrating on a good book. We would have book stands on every table though, so you could prop your book open in front of you while you eat if you wanted to.
Come and read. Shelves upon shelves of books that are free to read. You can donate your old books, or buy a new one if you try it out at the restaurant and decide you like it. Loyal customers get a loyalty card that doubles as a bookmark. And you don’t even have to worry about remembering what book you were reading or what page you were on! When you are finished with your stay, simply tell your server the name of the author, the title of the book, the page number you’re on, and your name. The server will input that information into the computer so when you come back again, all you have to do is ask and the server will tell you what you were reading and what page you were on.
Good food, a quiet place to read. Come alone or with friends. Maybe not with young children, though, since those things tend to be loud and disruptive. Free wi-fi, too, for a quiet workplace. And the servers would be really polite when they quickly interrupt you to take your order or serve your food. There would be soft, ambient noise playing over the speakers, but nothing more. Plus, authors could do book signings there. We could hold events and fundraisers, too. Endless possibilities.
The Sad Truth(s):
Someone else probably already had this idea. I’m sure places like this already exist. On top of that, it would probably be impractical. A lot of people, myself included, can sit and read for hours. Meaning tables would take a long time to turn over, leaving new guests waiting forever for a table or walking out the door. Ah well, such is life. Maybe that second problem could be solved by encouraging reservations and only designating a section of the restaurant to walk-ins. Who knows? I am not a business woman.
Living the Dream:
I might not be able to have this restaurant in real life, but the Bex who lives in my comics can! You might start seeing a lot more of Bex’s Book Cafe in the comics!
Thanks for letting me share that with you!
Word of the Day: Aspiration (n) – strong desire, longing, or aim; ambition.
[Edit 5/30/13: Reading back through my blog, I realized I already used the word “aspire” as a Word of the Day in a post. Whoops! I knew I was going to start repeating words eventually. It’s hard to keep track of them.]