I’ve been thinking about books. Well, not unusual, I admit, but what if…some books want to be privately owned, read once and then shelved, while others want to go to a library and be read multiple times, by different strangers. What if some books don’t want to be read at all and just keep their story to themselves? Are there certain books that want to go to used bookstores, feeling like hippies, living in a commune and what about those who want to be adored and dusted, locked behind glass and held and admired only once a year.
Do certain books beg to have people write in their margins, or highlight them in yellow, pink or orange? Do they want their pages bent, stained with coffee drops, or even torn from constant use? What about those books that are shy and shrink back as people pass them? How do they feel when someone stops and pulls them off their shelf and ruffles through their pages? Do they want to scream? And what of those that leap off their shelf to land in the hands of a person they know they want to go home with.
Do you think some books hate their stories? Do they wish to rewrite or edit themselves? Are they embarrassed by what their authors have written, or smug because their stories are so grand? Do books love the pictures they contain? Do the pictures help them understand themselves a little better?
Do they get excited when someone tucks them under their arm, or when they are brought to he register, or check out counter? Do they silently weep when they are returned, unwanted and unloved? Do some long for a safe and forever home? Do they fear being recycled? Are some books delighted when a mouse gnaws on their pages to make a nest, or do they tremble with fear?
What if a mean person takes a book home and ignores it, leaving it to slowly die from neglect?
I wonder about these things, don’t you? I try to keep my books happy and I coo over them and run my hands down their pages. I tell them they’re beautiful and I tell them how much I love them. I think they know I mean it, that’s why they are so good to me.