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I am often lost…

Often lost – and happily so, might I add – 

in a world of books.

Rather, a world of words.

Written words.

 

“What’s so appealing about it?”

“It’s too much.”

“It’s boring.”

“It requires too much thought.”

Well, here it is; 

This is why it’s so appealing:

 

I don’t know…

I don’t know how to explain it. 

I can’t do so briefly, even if I tried.

 

Books embrace me when I’m down and feeling blue.

When I’m tickled pink and red and green too.

Everyday.

Anytime.

All the time.

Books are my first love; my soul, my life.

Books are my best friend.

Books are my life.

 

You see, I’ve lived a plethora of lives thus far.

 

Books have allowed me to enter 

various realms and universes only

a reader and writer have

the privilege of knowing exist.

 

Books have sent me as far back 

as ancient civilizations.

 

It’s a form of immortality to speech and to existence.

Cicero once said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Rufus Choate once said, “A book is the only immortality.” 

Stephen Vincent Benet once said, “Books are not men and yet they stay alive.”

 

I live in them.

I don’t read books.

No.

They read me.

Or so W. H. Auden says,

“A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.”

 

“Literature is the immortality of speech,” according to August Wilhelm von Schlegel.

I wholeheartedly concur.

 

Reading comes in multiple forms. 

Novels.  

Poems.  

Cartoons

Signs.

Banners.

Catalogues.

Mere papers. 

Anything.

We “read” people. 

People “read” us.

 

To me….

Books – reading in general –

sets me free…

Gives me wings…

Allows me to fly far, far 

away or stay rooted and

balanced where I am and 

as I am.

 

Books are my niche….

My safe haven.

 

Books are like a shoulder to cry 

on when I’m down in the dumps.

Books provide such comfort 

and solace;

Comfort and solace

that is not physically human, 

but was written by a

human

and provides

a sense of being 

teleported to magical

and idyllic or 

war-ridden and exhilarating

or any imaginable or unimaginable realm that no human 

can see or reside in without

books; without words.

Books allow me to be 

several different people

simultaneously.

Books allow me to be

who I truly am and to

be whoever and whatever I yearn 

to be at the moment, whether it be a human or a dog or whatever it may be.

Books have broadened 

my scope immensely…

They’ve changed the way

I have perceived others since the age of

five or so.

Books have exposed me to an array

of personalities and have allowed me to look at things holistically

and have taught me never to judge.

Books breathe life into me

like oxygen.

Books teach me about and teleport me to idyllic, dystopian,

corrupt, peaceful, 

unbelievable, terrifying, horrifying

realms that are all

equally thrilling and out of this world.

They’ve molded me into the writer that I am.

They’ve also molded me into the writer I aspire to be professionally.

 

I’ve often wondered if perhaps I’m 

a book;

if we’re all books.

I suppose I am if I 

wish to be one.

I have a history.

A story.

A past, present, and future.

A start and end.

Conflicts.

Peaks.

Downfalls.

Successes.

Failures.

A soul.

A purpose.

I am a proud bohemian.

I am a walking, talking, sensitive, introverted ambivert of a library,

And more.

You see, my life is far from over.

My shelves have been lovingly filled 

and carry infinite adventures aboard,

but it’ll never get crowded or full to the brim.

Books are my life.

Books are where immortality lies.

Books hold my heart, soul, and whole being.

If you – whoever you are – 

have stuck around up till now, I thank you.

I know for someone my age, I must

seem like I’ve gone completely bonkers.

But…

I’m proud.

It’s who I am.

I love everything to it.

It’s my life.

The life of a bibliophile

has been a most rewarding life indeed… 

And best of all, 

It’s far from over.

By Maya Abou El Nasr