A Brief Story, Unrelated to Everything

Covers and Spines

stack of books

Sometimes I think my books rearrange themselves when no one is watching.

They do not shift much, just enough that it is a different one who catches my attention each time.

Usually they all get along, but sometimes one book or another gets particularly bossy.

I can tell when that happens because that same book is back on top each time I come back, like it’s pushed the others away.

I can picture it happening, all of the books in the stack I left them in. and then one in the middle shifting so that its spine is a little more visible, and also giving a small glimpse of the cover.

The other books whisper and protest, but ultimately do nothing.

They are creatures of order, and when a new one is created within the stack, they go along with it.

That’s why they like bookshelves so much.

But sooner or later they get fed up with bullies, because books are nice creatures at their cores.

That’s when they overthrow the attention-seeker, and then someone else is calling, and then someone else, and then someone else, all of my books in accordance, taking turns.

Still, each time I close the covers and stack them neatly, I know that the next time I look over, the choice of what to read is still not entirely mine.



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