The Paper Trail Building / Landmark in Pronathea | World Anvil

The Paper Trail

"You know, everyone who walks in here, they're like new friends. They come in, we have a short chat about what we enjoy reading about, and then they browse my stock, waiting to find that one title that glows a touch more than the others, almost like it beckons to them. Everyone in a bookstore is friends with everyone else in a bookstore, you all have a shared interest and passion, and no one will cause you any trouble for it either.
Terribly sorry for that little spiel there, good morning my friend, I am Niri, the proprietor of this fine establishment. What can I help you find today?"
Niri, the proprietor of this fine establishment

Stacked to the Shingles

  There are many a sight to be seen within the walls of Turnhaven, however, buried down several alleyways, one of which is half blocked by an upturned carriage that no one has bothered to move, is the little store known as the Paper Trail. Its door is barely hanging onto its hinges, and its windows are slanted, the shutters clattering against each other in the wind, not that they would serve a purpose, as the windows are all blocked by stacks and stacks of tomes.   A small sign sits above its doorway to list its purpose in faded lettering. Should you peer underneath the sign, you might make out the barely visible words of "The Book Burrow", perhaps an older name for the store.   Walking into the store, you would find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of books, tomes, codices, and other literary paraphenalia, as well as a strong smell of old parchment and spilled iron gall ink. Behind a counter made of even more books sits an older gentleman wearing a simple, white shirt with a banded collar and a grey waistcoat, and glasses perched near the end of his nose, the lenses of which are far too thin to possibly read more than a single line of text at a time. His long, thin fingers gently turn the pages of whatever book he happens to be reading at the time, and may take a few moments before he even notices that someone has entered his shop.   He speaks in a gentle tone once he does notice, always greating people and offering his aid in finding them the perfect book to walk out of there with. Despite his quiet demeanour, his voice travels through the stacks of books with ease to answer any questions you may call out to him with, often sounding as if he was right next to you.  

Travelling through the Tomes

  Stepping through the Paper Trail, you can easily find yourself lost within the stacks and stacks of books that have almost become their own living organism, keeping each other in check as they rest, waiting for their new owners to come and acquire them. The corridors twist and wind upon each other, some even doubling back on themselves or to corners that somehow hold no books at all. The sheer volume of texts stored in this place is almost too much to be able to reasonably fit anywhere but a proper library, though they all exist here in harmony with each other in perilous and precarious situations.   If you find a book that you wish to remove from the stacks, you wouldn't be wrong for thinking that removing them would cause a cascade of leather and parchment. The books, however, seem to have other plans for each other as removing a text might cause entire stacks to shudder or teeter on their edges but none will fall from their place, a phenomenon that Niri is more than happy to demonstrate. Even more intriguingly, books you wish to replace have a way of finding themselves back where they belong, almost as if you had never taken them to begin with.   There are many mysteries buried within the tomes and tales of the Paper Trail, and some more plainly on show than others, though there is no better way to find a mystery to solve than to step into one of the best kept secrets of the city.
Alternative Names
The Book Burrow
Parent Location
Characters in Location

Articles under The Paper Trail


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30 Dec, 2021 09:25

What a lovely little bookstore! I already know that I can easily get lost for days.. weeks... hell, maybe even months there! <3   Keep up the good work! :D

30 Dec, 2021 09:30

I loved writing it, everything about it from the books that won't let themselves fall over to the cart blocking the alleyway just... it all feels like it's in the right spot and it's so good when you get that feeling.

6 Jan, 2022 20:08

I love this. Reminds me of my favorite local bookstore with just a touch more magic. Wonderful article!

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8 Jan, 2022 06:10

Glad you like it, it was great to write!

Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
18 Jan, 2022 06:52

What a wonderful, quaint little bookshop. I would love to stop in sometime. And Niri is so mysterious and charming! Definitely someone I would fancy a nice conversation with. Hope you don't mind if I featured you for January's challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your work. <3

18 Jan, 2022 08:12

I absolutely don't mind at all, I'm glad you enjoyed giving it a read!

23 Jan, 2022 20:49

Love the narrative way of describing the shop, the mystery definitely pulled me in. I wonder what book I would find in there for myself. Great work!

24 Jan, 2022 06:24

Great to hear you like it! There's plenty of books in there for you to find!