The Boy in a Book, as the name suggests, is a novel about moving in and out of books and all the challenges that involves, not to mention having to handle the dangers that ill-intentioned adults represent. The following short exchange was inspired by the novel but is completely separate from it. The brief discussion is also anchored in preoccupations about what attracts people to a particular book amid the tsunami of new books flooding over readers daily. At the time of writing, I’ve completed nearly half The Boy in a Book. If all goes well, it will be published later in 2022, making it my twelfth published novel. For more information go here.
Meet me amongst the pages
I don’t know about you, but I’m parched. Will you join me for a cup of tea? Yes. You. Who else could I be talking to? You’re reading this book, aren’t you? What do you mean you can’t? Of course you can. All you have to do is step into the book. Yes you can. You do so every time you read a good story. There are even biscuits. No. It’s not a trap. I promise I’ll let you go when tea is over. No. The biscuits are not laced with poison. This is not that kind of book. Surely you can spare a moment. I assure you it’ll be worth it. There. You see. That wasn’t so difficult, was it? Take a seat. Make yourself at home. Milk? Sugar? Tell me, why are you reading this book? I’ve always wondered why people read books. What attracted you to this one? Don’t be shy. I promise your answer won’t be splashed across the pages when you leave. Really? You surprise me. I would’ve thought it was the cover. Not that I can see it from here. It’s one of the few things kept secret from us. That and the world of you readers. The title? How odd. It’s so little compared to all the rest. A few opening words shouted in the wind. Like the fleeting glance of a traveller, here and gone in a blink, yet continually echoing in your mind. Ah. I see. The promise of things to come. Of course. Would you like some more tea? No. I understand. Is it only the title? Recommendations. That too? So if an acquaintance finds it gripping, you will too. Are you so alike? I suppose not. Celebrities too. Their suggestions carry more weight. How odd. What makes their choices weigh more? A whole crowd of followers, you say. That must count for something. Yes, I imagine. And are you pleased with what you read? Not always. That must be disappointing. Me? I’ve not had much experience with reading. Ideally, I imagine it like uncovering a new world, places and people to discover as we make our way forward in a story that has us in its grip. Why? Maybe because I have no expectations lest it be the desire to be enthralled. Do you hear that? It’s the story calling. I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Sorry about that. But I have things to do. It’s been a pleasure. Yes. Just a step is all you need. Over the threshold and away you go. Easy does it. You might feel a little strange at first. As if you were caught up in a story. It’ll wear off. Thanks for joining me. May we meet again amongst these pages.
Dec 28, 2021 – 468 words