What if books were a magic potion? What if you could walk into a room, and just sense the book that you needed to pull off the shelf? What if, when you were standing there, gazing at the spines and judging the covers, you could just feel the book calling to you?
Just imagine the power – if suddenly we turned to books to solve our problems. No more scanning Facebook for reassurance that we were parenting our children correctly. No more tuning into reality TV or talk shows to hear the experts tell us we’re right – or wrong. Imagine the smugness that would wipe off of our faces if we realized that all those faces, all those voices streaming through the internet, were just empty.
And what if, when we were feeling particularly down, the perfect book would fly into our outstretched hands and land with a soft thud? What if we, upon gently perusing the cover, decided to open to the first page, inhale, and hold our breath until the page was ready to turn?
I can think of the magic that could happen if I could suddenly find the answers I’ve been looking for inside the pages of a musty, gold-edged leather bound book. I can feel the giddiness rising up inside me when the words pelt off the page and into my heart, filling it with everything it has been searching for. And I can imagine the tears, the sobs of sorrow when, upon turning the last page, I realize that sadly, the solution I had been searching for was missing.
Can’t you just imagine the glory to be found when your toddler, unknowingly, teethes her favorite board book to shreds and simultaneously ingests the knowledge for her future? The bits and pieces of cardboard and color and text, surging forward and transforming into the life lessons we so hopefully wish she will learn, digested and consumed.
And teenagers – imagine the power. Downing words from vampires and dystopias and the Civil War? The power of the written word, the image on paper, would supercede any texting or Snapchatting or technology. What if parents were able to secretly select books just to share the messages they treasure, creating an underground cult of language and stories and thought?
What if books were a magic potion? Do you think we’d take a second look at what we’re reading? Do you think that books, real paper and print and gloss-covered books, would ever die? Would you take a sip?
Disclosure: This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
photo credit: Le Jour ni l’Heure 5709 : Paul Cézanne, 1839-1906, portrait de Gustave Geffroy, 1885-1886, dét., musée d’Orsay, Paris, jeudi 14 mai 2015, 20:43:36 via photopin (license)