My title matters not at the moment, but I will tell you what I am. I am an old book here on an old shelf. You might wonder about my history, but I cannot tell you. It’s one of those, “You had to be there” things.
You see, I can talk all day long about the warmth I felt when being read by the reader wrapped in a blanket by the fireplace. I could talk about the suspense I felt as the young reader one day read me on his bed with nothing but a flashlight under the covers, hoping that he would be able to reach the end before his parents came and took me from him.
I’d like to describe the adoration I felt when I was one day read to a whole room of young children, all sitting in their beds, leaning forward in anticipation. I remember visiting that room with children several times over the years, and there was always something that felt odd to me. The children sometimes changed. A little girl with sad eyes occupied the bed where the boy who needed help to breathe had once stayed. Over time all but one had left, I never knew where they went.
The one who stayed all that time was a young adult by the time I came into her possession, my previous reader had decided to give me to her as a gift for leaving the room. I never knew what the room was, but I was glad when she left with me tucked under her arm. I could feel that she was happy too. My pages became so wonderfully worn in her care. She moved often and every night was a new place, but she always fell asleep with my binding open and my words in her mind.
I stayed with her for many years and she one day passed me on to another young child. I was sad to be separated from a reader who had cared so well for me, but I was also excited to meet this new one. This one though, exchanged me for a few small sheets of green paper and then I sat on a shelf, simultaneously surrounded by my kind and completely alone. I saw new potential readers almost every day, but for some reason they all passed me by.
A few pulled me out of the shelf to examine. Two readers even took me all the way to see the one with the green paper, but they always found some reason to leave me behind in that room of strangers who were my family. I did at one point reunite with an old friend who had been in the home of my reader by the fire. We were so ecstatic to meet again and shared all of our adventures in our time apart.
They actually went out to sea, on a boat with their reader. They said that the reader could walk all day and still not cover the whole length of the ship. Their reader had kept them in a very safe suitcase apparently, because one day that great big ship went into the water and never came out, a lot of things never came out. Neither did their reader; if only the reader could have been safe in a suitcase too.
My friend was found by some readers on a tiny boat and told me that they were the ones who sold my friend to the one with the green paper. I quickly realized that my friend still missed their reader so I made it my immediate mission to find someone who would be able to care for them well. That was a lot harder than I had originally anticipated though, because I am a book, and I have no ability to move, or speak, or do anything in any way aside from allowing myself to be read.
There was, though, a book down the shelf who often spoke of positive thinking, which was their subject. They would go on and on about how if you put a thought out into the universe, it will eventually come into reality. I then started thinking with all of my might about a reader who would love my friend as much as our old readers had. It was in this way that I started today, thinking about a good future for my friend when you, new reader, came in and picked me.
You took me all the way to the front and even brought me to your home. I saw your little reader, and I heard you promise to them that you would read to them from my pages tonight. I can’t wait, but I know I will have to because I’m just a book. All I can do is let you read me when you want to, and hope with everything I have that you’ll do so soon.