The Library Book

The library book has a coffee stain on one page, and a piece of dried oatmeal under the back cover, but it doesn’t bother me. I like that fact that other people have also had the pleasure of reading this book. And reading, is a unique experience.

When you go to a movie, you sit in the same type of seat as everyone else, and you see exactly the same images. The lighting isn’t affected by the time of day, so other than the fact you’re viewing the screen from a slightly different angles, or eating licorice instead of popcorn, you have the same experience as everyone who sees the same movie.

With modern technology people can watch the same movie in a variety of different environments, on televisions, laptops, and cell phones, but the images stay the same. Reading a book isn’t like that. Everyone sees different images in their minds as they turn the pages. Think about that for a moment; when you write a story and a thousand people read it, you create a thousand different movies.

The worn pages of a library book also remind you that other people have enjoyed reading the book. When you borrow an eBook, you can’t tell whether it has been borrowed a million times, or if you’re the first person to read it. I sometimes visit library websites to see if my eBook, What If? A Collection of Short Fiction by J. Paul Cooper, is being read by someone, and sometimes it is, but I can’t tell how many times it has been borrowed from any particular library.

Don’t stop until you’ve finished that novel you’re writing, because there are readers who would love to see it on the shelves of their local library.

Here are some of the books I’ve read lately:

Talking To Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know (2019) by Malcolm Gladwell

Leviathan Wakes (2011) and Caliban’s War (2012)  by James S.A. Corey

Note: These are the first two books in The Expanse series, and James S.A. Corey is actually the pen name for two writers working together:  Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Chosen By God (1986) by R.C. Sproul