Uncustomary Approach


Dear Reader,

I don’t normally get a chance to write to you, mostly because you’re always so busy reading me. But the funny thing is that when you read me, you’re not actually reading my words, but those of the author who put me together. Oh, if only you knew how much I wish you would hear my subtle whispers, those times when I try with all my might to make words leap off the page so that my message can reach you too. But no, you’re always too busy, too consumed with the story, at times even obsessed with finishing it, regardless of whether it’s actually bringing you any pleasure. So this is my time, my moment on the stage. This is my chance to have you read me, know me, learn about me.

I am a book. I am the book that gets adorned with coffee cup rings and soup-stained spoons while laying on the table in front of your couch, awaiting your return each evening. I am the book that collects dust on your bedside table, and even though I know you have the best of intentions to spend time with me at night, I so wish you would save more of yourself for those wee hours so that you could hold me in your lap just a little longer before drifting off to sleep with your glasses still perched up on the tip of your well-moisturized nose.

I left my family behind on bookstore shelves and flew off into the sunset with you as you stuffed me into your carry-on bag. I even took a leap of e-commerce faith when you asked me to come away with you before we’d even met. I have done so much for you, and yet you seem to have forgotten about me. Even magazines have now taken precedence over well-written tomes, and for what? Because they have the secrets to help you succeed, teach you how to take advantage of the markets and bake lighter, more delicious cakes? Or is it because they have pictures that try to tell a thousand words while I solemnly sit on the ledge, promising thousands more?

I realize that I can’t win you over with tradition anymore. Long gone are the days when everyone’s walls were covered floor-to-ceiling with custom-made shelves equipped with sliding ladders for the reader’s convenience. No more do I see you eagerly congregating at each others’ homes to discuss my subliminal subplots and convoluted character developments. Now, it’s all about the titillating season finale’s and the immediate satisfaction you get from your fast-paced games and electronic toys.

So I’ve decided to be uncustomary. I don’t want to show you what I’m about anymore. I’ve stopped wishing you’d hear me when I try telling you what I have to say. Instead, I turn to you and ask you what you have to say about me. What is it that I inspire in you? How do you see things differently now that you’ve briefly allowed me into your life? Do you know yourself better because our paths have crossed? Tell me, dear reader, what have I done for you?

Most sincerely yours.

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