In Response To: Picking Up A Book

Hello there. I couldn’t help but notice you, sitting there, all attractive on the shelf, in your best jacket. You’re getting stares from across the room. Pardon me if I’m a bit forward, but I think you might just be my type. Maybe you haven’t noticed me, but I’ve been watching you for a while, waiting for the right moment for us to be a thing. I know they say never judge anyone by their appearance, but something says that I’m going to like you, that you’re in my current genre of interest. You’re going to make an impression on me.

Consider yourself lucky. I hope you know that I picked you, out of a group of your friends, to spend the next few days with me. I know, I know, I’m coming on a bit strong, but I want you to appreciate the depth of my commitment to this relationship. I’ll get to know you really well, turning your pages and reading between the lines, making inferences and drawing conclusions.

You know you’re beautiful, so don’t act coy. You were designed to be attractive to someone like me, who voraciously moves to something like from another. I’m a bit of a playboy when it comes to your kind, not committing to one for too long. In fact, my longest relationship this year lasted no more than two weeks, and that’s only because of the complexity of that individual. Peeling back the layers of that one took me longer than most of its kind.

Trust me, I’m really good at this. Every evening, I will dedicate time to you, at least 15 minutes, where it’s no one but you and me, one on one, maybe some mood lighting, background music. Undivided attention? It’s yours, just don’t disappoint me. This may seem like a one-sided relationship, but if this works out, I promise to share you with my friends, to tell everyone just how great you are, and to write a review for you on Goodreads.

Please remember that I don’t have a type, regardless of what you’ve heard about me. Sure, I’ve bounced around between literary fiction, memoir, nonfiction, and young adult, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be special. Sure, you may be used, a little tattered on the edges, but that only means that multiple people have the opportunity to love you, to cherish you and your individuality. That’s what I most appreciate about you. Don’t be self-conscious if you have yet to earn any awards, I love you just the way you are, so don’t go changing. And, let me tell you, some Pulitzers or Man Booker prize winners don’t do it for me. All the pomp and praise doesn’t mean anything if we don’t connect.

Abandon you? I would never do that, especially only after a chapter or two. We’re just getting started! It takes time to fall into a syncopated rhythm, me understanding your narrative, you understanding the pace of my eyes gliding across the page. When I say I’m in this, I’m in this.

Look, I know you had others before, and everyone of them has made the same promise, but I’m telling the truth. I really am different, a true reader, not just one of those guys who borrows you from a friend, reads reviews or synopses online, and pretends to really know you. I’m going to read you, all of you, including the author’s notes, and when I’m done, we will both be changed. If it doesn’t work out in the end, it’s not you. It’s me. We might just need to go our separate ways, but we can’t worry about that now. All we have is this moment. Right here, right now.

So, what do you say? Do you think you’re ready to leave with me, or do I have to walk away from the shelf empty-handed and brokenhearted? There are plenty more books on my shelf, and if it’s not you, it will be another.

Text me when you’re ready. I’ll be waiting.

4 thoughts on “In Response To: Picking Up A Book

  1. Such a fun way to connect with your next read. Here’s my favorite line: “’m going to read you, all of you, including the author’s notes, and when I’m done, we will both be changed.” What a great way to view your next date with a book.

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  2. I love this! A new book is like a new relationship. The first week of school, I pull tubs of books off the shelves of our classroom library and give the kids minutes to browse and add to their “to read” list at the back of their reader’s notebook. If it is OK with you, I’d like to use this in September to get them jazzed before I turn them loose on the library.

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