The dust that covers the bookshelves of my library worries me. The beloved books I collected throughout my whole life are getting more and more worn out. The pages become yellow, the spines crackle and the ink fades. I walk around my library dolefully and sigh to myself. No one can hear me, as no one reads my books anymore.
Once those pages held people captive. People who wanted to see the world read tons of volumes. Knowledge was gained by reading. Imagination was build upon reading.
Now…who reads books now? They fade away like flowers when left without water. They slowly die like a creature left without food. I walk around my beloved books and weep at their fate.
But wait…what is this? Is the door opening? Is someone coming in? Oh, it’s just a small girl, no older than 7 maybe. What is she doing here? Oh no don’t tell me she came here to play? No! My beloved books, they won’t take it I won’t allow it…Wait, no… She is reading…Can you imagine? A child who reads…Beautiful sight beyond words. My dear literary volumes, pages of fantastic stories, history archives and treasure vaults – all finally used wisely and rightfully.
The doors open again. Another reader maybe? I perk up with excitement only to be brought back down. It’s the mother of the child. She scolds the girl and orders her to put down precious book and go outside to play. Put down this book from where you took it, she says, you will dirty it.
As if a child could ruin a book, as if it could do it any harm. Hey lady – books are for reading, not for looking at. A child knows it, how come you can’t comprehend it? I silently fume at the woman. I cannot stand this anymore, when I finally meet a true avid reader somebody spoils everything. I can’t take it, I’m leaving!
The window shutters clash loudly.
– That awful window, I told your father to fix it already. – The woman bristles at the noise.
– Mum I want to read a book. Aunty was happy that I came here. – whined the daughter.
– Honey, those books are very rare, they are very valuable and have to be treated with great care. You have other books in your room. Besides what do you mean, that aunty was happy? Aunty is in heaven sugar plum, she may look over us from there but she is no longer amongst us.
– But I know she was here…I could feel her smiling at me. She loved books, she wouldn’t want them to be alone in this library. Aunty would want somebody to read them.