The Bookworm's Guide to Dating (The Bookworm's Guide #1) - Emma Hart Page 0,1

minutes,” Saylor said dryly, sitting on the stool and grabbing the paranormal romance she’d started reading that morning. “At least two hours.”

“I’m not betting with you,” I told her, straightening up the display of White Peak, Montana magnets that our elderly tourists went crazy over. “Besides, we both know it’s going to be two hours. She’ll start in the party store, then hit the bakery because she’ll be hungry, then need a drink so she’ll just have to go to the coffee shop, then someone will stop her to talk about books. The conversation alone will be half an hour and by that point, we’ll have forgotten what she even went out for.”

“Never mind us.” She flicked to the page she’d left off earlier and peered over the top of the book at me. “Holley herself will have forgotten what she even went out for.”

“True story.” I stopped fiddling with the magnets and sighed. “I’m so mad about that book.”

“Are you going to finish it so it’s over and done with?”

“No. I think I’m too emotional. I’ll end up setting it on fire or drowning it in the sink or something like that. I think I’ll go and reorder the children’s books.”

Saylor wrinkled her face up. “Rather you than me.”

“Shout if you need anything.” I lifted my hand in a ‘see you later’ motion, because we both knew that when I got into organizing the shelves, I wasn’t surfacing for a long time.

Bookworm’s Books was a labor of love for all three of us. We’d all had either weekend or part-time jobs here since we were teenagers and knew the store like the back of our hands. Unfortunately, as the previous owner, Mrs. Watford, had aged, she’d let the store fall into a bit of disrepair.

When she passed away a little over a year ago, we found out that she’d written in her will that she wanted the three of us to have first dibs at buying the store if her kids decided to sell it. They all lived out of state and had for years.

Of course, we were only twenty-four—nearly twenty-five—at the time, so when they told us they wanted to sell and were happy to do so at a vast discount in line with her wishes, we didn’t exactly have a lot of money put away for a rainy day.

Thankfully, we did all have some savings, and with a little help from our families, we were able to cobble together the money we needed.

We’d turned the store around and somehow, made enough money for all three of us to live relatively comfortably.

Thankfully, people always needed books, even in the day of e-readers. There was nothing like the smell of a new book and reading on a device wasn’t the same.

For example, if you got pissed off at an idiotic heroine in your book, it was a hell of a lot more expensive if you threw the e-reader at the wall.

I wasn’t saying I’d done that, but they were not cheap to replace, and it wasn’t something you wanted to claim on insurance…

“Oh, yes, and how did your e-reader get damaged, Miss Lane?” “Oh, I threw it at the wall because fictional people are stupid, sir.”

It probably wasn’t covered in the terms and conditions.

I pulled stacks of children’s books off the shelves. Holley was the one of us who had a degree in library sciences, but thanks to her innate ability to control everything around her, Saylor and I had unofficial ones.

In other words, I knew how to organize these books so she wouldn’t lose her mind.

Within ten minutes, I was shoulder-deep in every kind of children’s book you could imagine. Picture books, first books, chapter books, early reader books… everything from learning to count to middle-grade heroes slaying dragons and climbing mountains.

I bet none of the kids who read these had to throw their books at the wall.


“Hey, what are—whoa.”

I turned around to look at Saylor. “What?”

“Holy book vomit,” she said. “How do you know what you’re doing in this mess?”

“It’s all organized.”

“What is it? An organized mess?”

“Still organized,” I pointed out.

She shook her head, and her hair that was now tied up into a bun on top of her head bobbed with the movement. “Whatever. I’ll stick to customer service.”

For a moody bitch, she was great at that. I, on the other hand, was not.

“What are you getting for Ivy? For the baby shower?”

I paused. “I was going to get some clothes in a bigger size and