Draft 2 once a stranger-books

Izzy loved books. She spent hours running her fingers over the spines of the long forgotten dusty covers hidden in the back of the small library. When she held them, the books became alive through her touch. The binding a face, the exposed pages the skin, each one had its own alluring smell as if they pulsed endorphins into her when she would splay them open. She need the physical weight of a book as well as the sound they made when she turned the pages or stacked them one on top of the other.

There were times when a patron would return a book damaged into the drop box whether from shame or ignorance she did not know. It was the library’s policy to never confront the perpetrator, their continued membership kept the small town library open after all.

Izzy secretly delighted in the demise of those novels. She loved to crack the pages open where a morning coffee had been carelessly spilt leaving the caramel stain as a silent witness. The body of the book groaned as she thumbed the edge, breaking each layer loose a quality only a truly adored work could offer her. New books where somewhat empty, they lacked the weather worn suppleness of the old that drew her in. When she would entertain at her home she often heard remark of the massive quantity in old hardbacks she had lining her shelves. To Izzy they were more than mere prized stallions each and every one a lover she knew intimately inside and out. The mornings when she let the words make love to her mind she would lament their absence thought the day regardless the outcome for the glimmer into that newfound world would close like a black hole upon itself. She would be left with a void and emptiness that she did not rush to fill.

The library did not open until ten during the week so the staff took their time dusting shelves and dusting off tales of who and what held the most fascinating drama as of late.

Karen, the head librarian, often sat in the overly stuffed leather chair near the front entrance, ensuring that her volunteers knew who really ran the library, her pinched eyes always watching yet she rarely spoke.

Izzy knew she held the many secrets and stories that, if they were ever revealed, would devastate generations of families deep into their roots. Karen’s stoic lips never offered supplement to the volunteer’s gossip but on occasion Izzy could see the rise in the slight wrinkles that graced her character. It was as if time had captured her in the flame of wisdom yet it suspended her from the warmth.

to be continued


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