Loving books, to me, has never been about quantity. If you’re someone who loves books, (as opposed to someone who likes to read) you’re always in the midst of one, or about to start one. Whether it takes you days, weeks, or months, you’re setting aside time perhaps better spent on sleeping, or doing dishes.

You live in the land of One More Page. And you like it there, even if you’re bleary-eyed the next day, or eating cereal with a fork.

Not everyone loves books, and that’s cool. But it annoys me when people misrepresent themselves. I don’t lie and say I love calculus, sports, or pickles. Why do people lie about reading?

These bears love books. Especially romances.

*    *     *     *

Book Lover

If you tell me you love books–

You’d better be able to talk about what you’re reading

not just a title and author

but a favorite scene or character

Or tell me about the book you can’t wait to start

If you tell me you love books–

You’d better respond to “what’s your favorite book?”

with a pained grimace

as if someone asked your favorite internal organ

like life can be lived with only one

If you tell me you love books–

You’d understand that books are a basic need like sustenance


and shelter

and you’re willing to go without a bit of those for time to read

If you tell me you love books–

You’d best mean it

or I’ll suggest that perhaps books and you

should see other people

and remain friends

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

5 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    OH, man, do I love this one! And I LOVE BOOKS, too. At least by this definition, anyway. Nice job, Caitlin.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’ve had a few conversations with people misusing ‘love’ about books/reading.
      To quote Indigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
      It’s always nice to find people who’re a little intoxicated by the written word, just like you, isn’t it?

      • Marcia says:

        Yes, and yes, and yes! My favorite writers are the ones who make me stop and re-read certain sentences over and over, just because I am caught up in the way the words sound, connected one to the other. It’s not as common in prose, it seems, as it is in poetry, which may be why I still love poems so much. But a good writer will rope me in not with plot alone, but with those glorious words. And when you find someone who can handle plot, beautifully developed characters, and lyrical, magical words, well, that to me is heaven. Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Jorge Luis Borges:

        “I have always imagined Paradise will be a kind of library.”

        Works for me!

        • caitlinstern says:

          That is a most excellent quote. I can picture it–ladders with flourishes of carved wood that slide smoothly to allow access to towering bookshelves, the room flooded with natural light, and with comfortable chairs paired with end tables and reading lamps.
          And the shelves, neatly labeled, stretch as far as the eye can see…

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