How chaos operates

BY MEGHAN OCHS
Stone Bridge High School

In The Bookery in downtown Lexington, there are books stacked, cramped, piled, shoved and filed into any and almost every available space. Vintage posters in vibrant colors, quotes printed on small sheets of paper, and paintings by various artists cover any and all free wall space. Classical music plays quietly in the background, and the overall atmosphere has a cozy and eclectic quality.

While some may enjoy the grand selection of books or simply be amused by its clutter, for the owner and manager Marysue Forrest, The Bookery has become a nurtured and well-loved second home.

“I came here three years after it was opened in 1989,” Forrest said. “It’s been over two decades that I’ve spent being the owner here.”

Forrest began her career in The Bookery as a manager, and was then given ownership by the original establishers.

Throughout her time spent working in the shop, Forrest has been fortunate to meet numerous noteworthy figures, who at some point decided to step in and take a look at the selection, which amasses to over 40,000 works.

“They’re been some actors and politicians such as former Senator John Warner,” Forrest said. “Another was James Robertson, who is a noted civil war author. We’ve had some wonderful authors, some nationally known.”

Luckily, the erudite bookkeeper has not encountered too many difficulties while on the job.

“No fires, thankfully,” Forrest said. “In general it’s been fascinating meeting so many different people that come in, and watching their body language. I’ve learned a lot in many ways.”

A quote, one of hundreds, hangs on a small space of wall beside the front desk, where Forrest sits, taking phone calls and sending patrons to their desired selection of books. The quote speaks of the “disorganized clutter” that is a theme inside the store.

“I think its evident that there is a semblance of disorganization, but in reality we are on the semi-organized side,” Forrest said. “That’s why I refer to it as disorganized chaos.”

Among the enormous amounts of typed quotes taped in every corner of the room, there is also an array of colorful, mostly antique posters and paintings done by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh.

“All of our signs are done with humor,” Forrest said. “Anything that’s not a book has a story in here.”

Pointing to one poster, which is faded yellow and features a stylish black cat in its center, Forrest states that it is over 50 years old.

“That particular one was from the 1950s,” Forrest said. “It was given to me by a high school teacher.”

Included among the vintage prints, Forrest has many paintings hung along the crowded walls, significantly a reproduction of “Starry Night” by Van Gogh. There are also several copies of the same painting in the front of the shop.

“A seller had this art work, and asked if I was interested in having some of it,” Forrest said. “Apparantly I was a fan of Van Gogh, because I unknowingly picked only his art.”

Despite Forrest’s huge involvement and commitment with the shop, the owner credits the success of the business to the community and their support.

“I just really feel extremely blessed to have the support of the community and to feel a part of it,” Forrest said. “They have made it a quality book store.”

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