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A different view, a richer life

Monday, August 4, 2014

As I sit here struggling for words that could possibly measure the loss of Elspeth Brierley, I keep looking up from the place in my kitchen where I do my writing and staring at the empty stairs leading to her apartment in the building next to my home. I was once lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Elspeth almost every day, and that brings back memories of her book store, A Different View.

For those who didn’t have the great fortune of experiencing A Different View, it will be difficult to picture what a treasure that book store felt like to those of us who flocked there. For faithful bibliophiles who knew and loved Elspeth and A Different View, there is no way I can come close to capturing that magical place.

About 20 years ago, Elspeth had called me on the phone to ask me if I would review a book for the book column I wrote. At that time, A Different View was a quaint little book store in the annex of a frame shop on Mucurapo Road. She had put a couch in that store for readers to sit and peruse books they planned to buy. For many of us that couch; that store became a sanctuary: a getaway after a busy, stressful day at work.