You Can’t Forget Books, Because They Never Existed

People tell me we won’t remember the books anymore
That soon they’ll be long gone
Replaced by something new and electronic
And that one day the only ones who remember books
Will be the elderly
Scoffing at the latest technological marvel of the age
While the great-great-grandchildren nod
Absorbed in the other world they see through their ocular implants

But I don’t think that will happen
Oh, time will trod on, of course
Relentlessly, as it always has
And perhaps the books will pass away
(For time is harsh to anything so organic)

But I don’t believe we will forget them
Any more than we’ve forgotten the dinosaurs and pirates and fairy queens
Cowboys, mermaids, dragons, and ancient rings that can teach you how to fly
Princesses dressed all in silk and wise old hermits that live in caves all alone
You can’t forget anything so magical and wonderful
Even if it never existed

Because of course, books don’t exist
Not in the way we think
A book is a bundle of pages
All covered over in words
But it’s much more than that
Random words on pages do not a book make
Any more than random cells construct a person

There’s order to a book
But more than that, a soul
Something ineffable and intangible
And above all, utterly impossible
Books are dreams stitched to paper
And do not stand up to close scrutiny in the morning light

How can thoughtless ink become a thought?
How can feather-light paper carry the weight of the world?
The whole thing smells of fairytale
The sort of thing you’d read about in…
…now what were those things called again?
Ah, that’s right: Books
We can’t forget the books
Because in the end
It’s books that remember us.


This entry was posted in Books, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to You Can’t Forget Books, Because They Never Existed

  1. Jay E. says:

    This wonderfully encapsulates my own thoughts on books. I’m definitely sharing this!

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