I have a tendency to personify inanimate objects. I do not quite know why I do but I think it’s a collection of wanting to understand every single thing and wanting to love every single thing despite its use.
One of the first poems I wrote when I was 14 included this line: “The dear book waits longingly for her lector.”
Setting the record straight, the poem was terrible. However, I was discovering this part of me that desired to understand the world through the craft of writing.
Let’s enter this world for a bit.
Alone on a dusty shelf, HF 5387 N35, HM 73 C489, PN 4855 L 46 sit waiting.
To a watchful eye, they were merely just numbers on a spine. Much like you not too long ago, ACT score, GPA, mere numbers on a spine.
People judge them for their face value, the way they appear on the outside.
Many people pass by quickly on their way to pick up packages. The lucky ones sit next to the pick-up window, a distraction from human interaction for those whose phones are dead or in pockets.
The poetry sits under florescent lights with dust crackling between their pages. It is no wonder they are lonely when they never see the sun.
They all sit there, each a different color from the other. Each with their own ideas, lessons and dreams.
Alone at night they speak to each other as if to say listen here I can teach you something if you let me.
Their only companions are each other, nuzzled between fiction and reality.
Anyone who has ever written anything knows there is hardly a difference between the two.
Do you dare venture down this unmarked path?
It is so much easier to pull out a phone and scroll in a world already created for you.
But to open a book is to travel to another world.
The afraid will not. The afraid will enter the glass doors, go about their business with their headphones in their ears, never allowing the voices to enter.
It is a brave act to pick up a book. To let someone in who could shake your bones and awaken you from dangerous indifference.
Like an orange squeezed to the pulp, there is nothing of use for them if are not cut open first.
And they will be cut open. And moved. To another dark cavern with fluorescent lights, across the road where few ever venture.
If you isolate them, they lose their power.
Nevertheless, I have seen beautiful things become of those thrown to the side. I have seen people make pilgrimages to holy places around the world.
It was never about the space for the books. It was about what they could bring to those who allowed them to speak.