I recently pulled a book off my shelf after it agreed to be interviewed for this blog. It has requested the title not be identified so as not to unduly influence one way or another how it should be viewed. It speaks for all books, except e-books, which we will discover.
Q: Let’s talk about your heritage, where you come from, your ancestry.
A: Well the word ‘book’ comes from the word ‘bog’ which is the Danish word for birch tree. Not everyone agrees with that; there has been some controversy about the origin of the word, but as a book, I know the truth. I can trace my ancestors back to parchment, and I believe there is some distant connection to sheepskin, but parchment for sure. I am made from pulp, which comes from trees, so I am not a tree hugger. Books need trees to live, so when a tree dies, I know a book will be born. Save a tree you kill dozens of books, maybe many more, maybe hundreds. But I don’t understand these new things called e-books. I am told we are sort of related, but they seem like aliens from another planet. I don’t really see how we are related. And don’t get me started on audio books. Please! A book is a book. A recording is a recording. I would rather be related to an e-book than an audio book. Talking Books? Ridiculous.
Q: How do feel you are treated by readers? Any complaints?
A: Are there any complaints? Ha! Most readers are good, the true book lovers you know, but other readers are downright careless and uncaring. Consider those who read while eating-not you by the way. . .(Thanks I answer) and especially those who eat in bed. Please watch your crumbs. I hate it when they fall into my page creases. Please floss me before you turn the page. Keep floss handy. Speaking of food, do you have any idea what ketchup stains do to my self esteem? Even worse is those drinking hot coffee or tea. Every little drop or spill burns my texture and that part of me dies.
Q: Well lets talk about positive things you do.
A: Before we move on, please people, don’t leave me where a dog can get at me. Getting chewed on by a dog’s sharp teeth is not pleasant, believe me. I am not a bone to be gnawed on. And they drool which I think happens to soften up what they gnaw on for the kill. Sorry. Those teeth scare me, though nothing like one book I know. He won’t mind me mentioning his title, but Fahrenheit 451 is paranoid about fire. I tell him, we all are, but his case is worse, which I certainly understand. Anyway, lets move on.
Q: What sort of things do you feel proud of?
A: Oh, one more thing, maybe two. Be careful when you flex my spine. My spine is flexible like readers, but it can also be damaged and broken. And I have no medical so take of me and I will take care of you. And I know when you find me in a bookstore, I look perfect, new and shiny. But you should see what happens to me in a book warehouse. My god, those people are careless. I’m surprised most of us make it out of there intact.
Q: So what do you like about being a book?
A: I hope this will not be taken the wrong way, but I love being on a bookstore shelf and see people come in and look at me. And I just love it when they open me up, put there noses in my pages and take a long inhaled sniff of me. I just adore and cherish the intimacy between the reader and myself. It begins there. And then being read in bed is wonderful; just have the floss handy as I have said.
Q: You sound a bit kinky.
A: I see nothing kinky about it. I love watching your face as you read me. I watch your expression, catching every little nuance; seeing your eyes go back and forth, the way your eyebrows rise in wonder or tension, or excitement. I love your scowls, your surprise, every emotion. When I see that I know we are communicating.
Q: Does it bother you when a reader puts a bookmark in your pages and sets you aside?
A: No. Well, I mean I am glad when you pick me up again. I do admit that being opened and closed, opened and closed, opened and closed is what we call reader interruptus. Not Good. It really spoils the mood. But I am always there for you. Maybe your wife or girlfriend is not there for you. Or your boyfriend or husband is not there for you. But I am always there. I am nothing if not patient. And I am like a car in a way for a car can take you anywhere and so can I. To distant lands, to meet new people. Give you adventure, make you cry, make you laugh, make you think. A car, by the way can’t do that, though you shouldn’t think while driving, and don’t try to engage me when driving. Not smart.
Q: What are things you don’t understand?
A: Easy. I don’t understand why some of us books get banned. What did we do you? Readers don’t have to like us. Heck some of us don’t like some readers-and you know who you are-but there is no reason to ban us, burn us, or censor us. We are just telling you something, nothing more. You don’t have to agree with everything. And we are not responsible for what you read. Our creator makes us say what we say. Don’t blame the messenger you know. And another thing, don’t feel sorry for those of us on a bargain or discount table. We do not need pity. We will find a home. We are strong and believe in ourselves.
Q: Do you have a motto, anything like that?
A: I don’t know whether I am fact or fiction. I just am. How’s that? It is all the same to a book. Except for those highbrow textbooks. They are smug and arrogant. But the joke is on them because new information makes them obsolete. I have no idea what happens to the old foggy textbooks. I don’t think I want to know.
Q: Any parting words?
A: Yes. I don’t mind you taking me into the bathroom to read, just don’t leave me in there, especially on top of the toilet tank. It smells in there.
Next I interview an e-book