Our story is written in a book with a funny title and a colorful cover – the kind that catches my eye when I’m walking around the bookstore. But for some reason, it’s a book I’ve never had the courage to open up and read. Sometimes I just pass by it, sometimes I stare at it, wondering if I should take it home. The title always makes smile. ‘This must be a fun story’, I think to myself.
After a long time, I finally decided to open it on a random page. I raised my arms, reaching for the book, and finally had it in my hands. It had this soft touch, but not like it had a fragile cover. I checked its weight and it was okay for me to carry around, so I could read it anywhere in case I…
I looked around. No one would mind if I opened it, right? It wasn’t wrapped in plastic or anything. It was there for anyone to take, wasn’t it? So, I opened it and read a little bit of it. It was really entertaining. The letters were in the perfect size – not small like in a pocket book, but with the right amount of information. That day, I read only one page, but it was enough for me to leave the bookstore with a smile.
A few days later, I read a little bit more, on another page. I still liked it. It was my kind of story, it was the kind of writing I like. One day, I even sit on one of the chairs to read a few more random pages. ‘I should really buy this one, shouldn’t I?’.
I see a girl who seems to be in a rush, walking around the shelves. She seems lost. She approaches a boy who works there. I hear her saying the title of the book – the one I have in my hands. She looks at me and realizes I’m holding it. Before I could even say a word, she stormed out of the bookstore. I felt guilty.
The next time I see the book, I don’t read any of it. I don’t even take it out of the shelf. As silly as it sounds, I’m afraid of it. I’m frightened by the idea that the book is not so funny, after all. What if it turns out to be a sad story, and I just happened to read the nice parts?
I’m scared that, if I actually buy it and read it properly, I won’t like it. And it will always be there, pointlessly standing on the top of my shelf – on that level that you can’t even reach and keeps the books you no longer care about.
On the other hand, it could be the best book ever. I could recommend it to everyone I know and keep it in my drawer. I could read it again and again and still appreciate every detail, every single time. I know it could be.
The next day I go to the bookstore, the book is not there anymore. I start to look for it. The boy offers his help. I don’t want to ask for it. I feel stupid and make an excuse. I leave the bookstore, wondering if that girl bought it. She probably did.
Even now, I wonder if she dog-ears the pages as she reads it – how hard can it be to use a page marker?! Does she borrow it for close friends and family or for anyone that asks? Has she- for Christ’s sake, did she ever write on it??? Well, I guess it’s none of my business now. I mean… It’s hers now. To be quite honest, it was never mine.
I’m sorry. I can’t stand the idea of having you on my top shelf.