Books are a uniquely portable magic.
~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Once upon a time there was a bookwyrm who lived in a library. The library was a haven of white marble, a place for the worshiping of knowledge with multiple levels of clean stone and great wooden shelves that reached each ceiling. Sunlight filled this temple, filtered in from equally tall windows. High upon a shelf, with the sun streaming down upon her, she would read books of adventure, romance and daring. Dusty tomes of knowledge filled her heart with wisdom and Sunday comics with laughter. But though she traveled the world through the pages of books, she had never left the safety of her library.
"Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1907–1916, Augustine Birrell once recounted a situation in which a bookworm had eaten through to the 87th page of a fifteenth-century vellum book. By the twentieth century, modern bookbinding materials thwarted much of the damage done to books by various types of book-boring insects." Wikipedia
Visitors would come each day to peruse the shelves and gather joy from the pages like bees gather pollen from flowers. And as they left, to carry on with their lives, they would chatter about nonsense. Movies, parks, birds, jobs and green grass. Though our bookworm had known they existed, she had never seen them for herself. She had never felt the sunshine except from the tall windows. Never felt the grass, soft under her feet. Slowly at first and then with an indescribable desire, she began to yearn for more than the smell of books and instead wished for flowers. Her heart wished to experience the things that her book told her existed outside her door. Green things grew in her dreams to overpower the shelves and aisles of her library. And when she awoke she wept a little to discover the lie.
One day, a visitor rustled through his pockets for a scrap of paper to mark a book. Something fell from his pocket and landed upon the table. Little did the visitor know that he had dropped something valuable upon the carpet. It landed in a patch of sunlight and the visitor happened to step on it as he walked out. This tiny forgotten gem held more treasure then the visitor knew.
“So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa
To him it was merely a seed. To the bookworm though it was as if her dream walked the earth and took root on the grounds of her library floor.First it was a curiosity. A seedling that miraculously was never stepped on, always around. Then it was a sapling that gathered sun motes as visitors smiled and passed it. Then one day, it was a magnificent tree that claimed the reference section as its forest. A blind satisfaction in having claimed the ground floor, surrounded by its dead kin and reaching for the skylight high above.
And the bookworm reveled in its beauty, reading in its branches and learning the name of each dark leaf.