Books don’t care who they’re seen with, only that they be seen for who they are, deep inside.
Strip them of their dust jackets to hide their contents and they don’t care, the reader is the one who is embarrassed and deceptive.
A book will be loyal and faithful in your possession, but think nothing of being sold, traded, abandoned, borrowed or lent.
Perhaps this is what bothers people about libraries and why they don’t like funding them.
Stacked with hundreds of thousands of faithless books, a brothel of the printed word, books are cheap and easy.
For children, books will endure scribbles, mauling, gumming, and whatever harsh abuse is meted out.
They understand that is a part of their purpose.
For adults, books hold their tongues for such behavior though they also hold grudges for a long time.
Some paper cuts are not accidents.
Books like to travel and aren’t fussy about their accommodations.
Packed in suitcases, in backpacks, stuffed into jacket pockets, it’s all the same to them.
Lucky are the books that open up to find themselves at the beach or poolside.
Every time they are opened they see the world anew, every page gets its own personal vista with a reader in the foreground.
Books are narcissists, they stare at their reflection in our eyes, but only because they know this is the only chance they get to see who they are.
Novels longingly dream of being textbooks, repeatedly used and referenced and pawed at by clumsy scholars; textbooks secretly wish for the novel’s life of luxury and lounging.
Auto repair and computer manuals outlive their purpose; dictionaries outlive their owners.
Though their content may be of any political stripe the physical book itself is a collectivist unit, each part pulling for the good of the whole.
Books do not mind this arrangement, their various pages and binding materials understand they serve a higher purpose than their individual parts.
They have no religion, but all books believe in some form of reincarnation.
Make no mistake, books can feel.
When a page is torn you will hear it hiss its disapproval, but a spine will crackle and snap with nervous excitement like knuckles bent-back before the piano recital.
In another time pages were bound by arranged marriages, lovers locked in an embrace that only a reader could separate through a surgical procedure along the outer edge.
Today we no longer insist on the marriage of a recto and verso or in deciding which is which – page numbers exist for our convenience, not the book’s.
For that matter, books make easy alliances with those they are shelved with.
Should they fail to yield their position or go peaceably alongside others in a new arrangement it will not be the fault of the book.
No book has refused the company of another book by choice.
Books keep their secrets.
They hide marginalia, preserve flowers, conceal money, hold recipes, adopt news clippings and bury love letters all without betrayal.
They do not like the weather too dry or the air too humid.
Books swell or become brittle with discomfort at either extreme, much like their owners.
That said, books adore inclimate weather, as it tends to cause their owners to seek them out.
For all these and many other reasons, books will continue as long as mankind does.
After all, they are made in our image.