The Coffee/Book Trade-Off

The primary school of my two youngest children lies very close to our town centre, and so, often, I find myself ambushed by surprise texts from my wife to call down and get various items of grocery while I’m still on the perilous school run. Personal plans be damned.

Much more preferable, though, is when I have forewarning of this, as I take a book along with me so I can read a few chapters over coffee before entering the melee of consumer hell. With a house full of children, students, a wife (just the one), I take whatever chance I can get to thrust an uninterrupted nose into a book

This is the non-negotiable shopping chore trade-off.

I used to go into McDonald’s, but recently I have discovered a great coffee shop, situated below a tattoo parlour, run by a charming Polish guy, who, when I enquired about his opening hours in the morning, asked if 8 o’clock was okay for me? Straight away we got off on the right foot.

I prefer to give my custom to small, local businesses, and besides, this place is cheaper, friendlier, more personal, and the coffee is better too. The place is called Coffee And Dessert House, which pretty much does what it says on the tin, but I’m on a diet.  It is a book reader’s perfect escape haven, and I have already placed my towel on my own spot: an armchair below a tall, standing lamp.

View from my claimed armchair.

View from my claimed armchair.

Dotted around the place are two portraits of Marilyn Monroe, and two portraits of Audrey Hepburn. An obvious draw are the deliberately slanted bookshelves. The owner has said I can take any that I fancy away with me to read, but, as usual, I have a long backlog of books to get through, but I appreciate the gesture.

You can keep your Happy Meals.

Monroe, Hepburn, books and vinyl. Not a freaky red haired clown in sight.

Monroe, Hepburn, chess set, books and vinyl. Not a freaky red-haired clown in sight.

I was in there yesterday finishing The Great Gatsby, that great and tragic book, low music issuing from a retro-style record player adding to the past-time feel of the place. I have never seen the film, but when considering the eponymous character, Leonardo DiCaprio never comes to mind.

I could imagine some of Fitzgerald’s acquaintances sat in here, drinking cocktails rather than coffee. Maybe with a little more lace than I normally wear, with matching pearls.


My wife had another list of things for me to get this morning, so I left armed with my Kindle, which comes before the kids’ packed lunches. Having a break from the modern classics, I began an anthology of horror stories, selected chiefly because of the inclusion of two stories by two of my favourite horror writers:  John Ajvide Lindqvist, of whom I haven’t read anything new for a while, and the inevitable Stephen King.

This morning I had my coffee dark. I should have been Swedish, I am made for fika.

21 thoughts on “The Coffee/Book Trade-Off

  1. Love a good coffee house! That one looks very inviting.
    There is a nice tea shop near me that has big, comfortable chairs and lovely paintings on the wall. They serve some coffee drinks as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hear, hear! Fika. Books. And in a small coffee shop, not belonging to a big chain. Love it! After my Gatsby read, I went on with Anna Karenina. Puha! haha Haven’t had time to read lately, but oh do I miss it! From late august I won’t have a choice though: Going back to school! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erika if ever I make it to Malmö you’ll have to give me a local’s insight on where to get the best coffee from. Reading-I’m always reading! Are you on Goodreads? What are you going back to school to do?
      I know-questions questions! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha I like it! And I’ll try to answer them all haha We have a lot of sweet spots for fika, so I will show you for sure if you’d ever pop by. But be aware of the strong coffee we serve 😊 What’s Goodreads? And no I’m not, yet! To be honest, I can’t decide what to study. Economics and law have always been my top pics. And then I started thinking about HR, because I’m a people person. But I decided that I’m going to do a slow start with social psychology and a general law course. But reading all those CVs and interviewing all different types of people have made me go back to thinking that the finance area might be more me 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll look into that! Might be the push I need to actually start reading again. You know when you’ve had a break, and you just need to start on that first book to get back in it again. That’s where I’m at at the moment 🙂


      • Unfortunately, I’ve had too many breaks in the last five years. I’ll write why in a post one day 🙂 It kind of explains a lot of my views on things, and life. I’m actually trying to write a short story about parts of it 🙂 In Swedish though… haha


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s