On a little-used street away from the centre of town, in between a Chinese massage parlour and an all-night pancake restaurant, there is a solid wooden door with flaking green paint and a shiny brass letter slot. Behind the door, some people know, is a bookstore with shelves stacked from floor to ceiling haphazardly, sometimes two or three rows deep, in apparently random order. Customers range from school librarians to aging bibliophiles to young hipsters looking for something to show off at the cafe. They navigate around the piles of books on the floor and browse the shelves over two floors, passing each other up and down the rickety old staircase that is also jammed with books under the steps and, occasionally, a reader engrossed in a story she couldn't wait to get home.
Many of them, for whatever reason, do not know that there are further mysteries inside the shop, such as the one shelf off in the back, hidden behind piles of dusty encyclopedias - the magic bookshelf. It doesn't hold books about magic. That would be too obvious. What it holds is books that contain magic, like a gardening guide that will make your vegetables grow, or a photography book that will make you capture a golden moment on film by chance.
Even though the bookshelf was magic, it didn't look like it, so Emily didn't realise she'd picked up a book that would change her life. The shopkeeper behind the counter gave it a quizzical look, like he couldn't remember stocking that title, and Emily stood with a sheepish, slightly embarrassed grin. The shopkeeper found the hand-written price in the back cover, took Emily's money and put her book in a paper bag.
Outside, Emily pulled out the book and opened to the first page, walking as she read, and immediately bumped into a tall, dark, handsome stranger.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - I had a magic book similar to that once.
PPS - Sort of.