Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

The Truth About Books (kindly hurry up with that steak!)

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“Eureka!” says Mom the other day. I have no idea why she says this. But she says it a lot. Especially when she’s lugging another truck load of “books” home from The Book Place.

Me, I’m not crazy about The Book Place. Ever since Mom pointed out the “guide dogs and service animals only” sign. What am I, chopped Salisbury steak with extra gravy? Tri-tip roast? A nice, thick burger sizzling merrily on the outdoor grill?

Wait. What was I saying?

Oh yeah. “Eureka” and The Book Place.

“See what we have here?” says Mom, pulling out one of those big square reading thingies from a library “book bag” big enough to choke a Brontosaurus. “This is a book,” she explains. “Black letters on white pages.” She fans the pages.

I sniff said pages. Can I eat it? Something tells me no. As in, BIG N-O.

“David Copperfield!” Mom announces. I’m still sniffing. “A classic!” she says.

Am I supposed to be impressed?

“Wait! There’s more!” Mom crows, excavating deeper into the Bronto bag. She unearths more reading thingies. Like Pride and Prejudice. A Raisin in the Sun. The Black Stallion Returns. Thunder Rolling in the Mountains.

Still sniffing…

Meanwhile, I’m beginning to wonder about these reading thingies she calls “books.” They don’t have any buttons. Blinking lights. Bonus levels. App updates. In fact, books really don’t have any sounds at all. And not much smell, either. (Dust maybe.)

This doesn’t seem to slow Mom down.

“Look,” she says, cheerfully paging through something called Anchor in the Storm.

You’d think she just discovered filet mignon, medium well.

“Finding a good book is like finding buried treasure!” Mom continues. “It’s an adventure waiting to happen!”

She tells me that these reading thingies – “books” – can take you on travels only you can imagine. Through forests thick with facts. Whole galaxies dripping with starry fiction. A book can introduce you to lifelong friends, says Mom. Keep you awake all night until The End. A book can be a friend if you just want to be by yourself in the highest peak of a status-update-free mountain. And the only “storage space” that runs out in a book is what’s in your own head.

Also, a book doesn’t run on batteries. Never needs a recharge. Or a power cord. Doesn’t have an off button. You don’t need to remember a password to get inside. And a book won’t unfriend you. Ever.

At the end of the day, you can put down a book and it won’t mind. Because, says Mom, a book will always be there, waiting for you to come back. Pick up where you left off. Like an old friend welcoming you home. Whether you’re a “service animal” or not.

Mom may be on to something. I just hope she hurries up with that steak.






Brontosaurus image: Wikimedia Commons

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