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April 12, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

When Paperback Met Kindle

This is the story of the book who was casually sauntering along the road, on one of his breaks from the bookshop, enjoying the scenery and dreaming of the day that he would finally be claimed and get to live out his life in a comfy bookcase. He imagined that the place he would end up would have at least two resident readers, high enough shelves to protect him from dangerous dog teeth and an electric fire in the living room (or at the very least a fire guard if a real fire was an absolute necessity). From his spot, on the bookcase, Paperback would make friends with all the other books and lovingly watch the house occupants, awaiting his turn to be well and truly loved and exclaimed over. He was quite a sentimental chap so he even hoped for the odd (small) tear to fall on his pages just so long as it didn’t make him too crinkly.

Just as he thought he couldn’t get much happier he was thrown to the ground so hard that his words were knocked right out of him! He saw them scatter across the pebbles that had been glinting in the sun, not five minutes before, form an orderly queue and then to his dismay begin to dance and cheer their way over to the sleek handsome stranger, who has appeared out of nowhere, and that he could now see had been the reason he had tripped. Before he could exclaim his his! words had appeared on the stranger’s liquid smooth, black cover and begun to snuggle down neatly beside each other as though they had never been disturbed.

All Paperback could do was stare. The handsome stranger’s perfect screen meant that Paperback didn’t have to look away (for fear of eye strain) so he stood transfixed whilst his words were absorbed in to the shiny surface, until he was left staring at his own, surprised reflection.

There was only one thing for it, he was going to have to bite his bookmark and tear this stranger to shreds if he was going to get his words back. As he fluttered his pages and shuffled towards the stranger the horrible truth started to dawn on him, there was no paper to tear to shreds and his words must had disappeared forever! This thought made him falter and he caught his blurb on a discarded sandwich wrapper. Poor Paperback stumbled and tripped again, this time hitting against the stranger’s shiny surface hard. To his horror he found himself face to face with not only his words but the words of his Beloved (by Toni Morrison). This guy has obviously been stealing all the words around here he thought gloomily.

The next event took him so much by surprise that he nearly bent his spine! The rather handsome stranger gently picked him up, dusted him down and apologised profusely before performing a weird operation in which he transferred Paperback’s words back over to him, making sure to carefully place them all in the correct order. I’m so sorry about that he said in a smooth voice, that happens a lot when I bump in to books such as yourself and I am afraid I am not lucky enough to have words of my very own. My name is Kindle.

Paperback felt his anger melt as kindle extended his perfectly fitted cover flap and shook Paperback’s cover. As much as he wanted to be angry he couldn’t help but admire Kindle’s gentle manner and talent for copying and carrying words with such ease. I bet his pages never get crinkled from being in a bag, he thought admiringly. As Paperback stared (that bloody perfect screen again) Kindle blushed and explained that he was new to the area and didn’t know his way around. Paperback couldn’t believe that this stranger, who seemed to have it all, could feel so lost. Feeling sorry for this new chap Paperback found himself with the sudden urge to teach him the ropes.

Over time Paperback and Kindle became great friends. At first Paperback found he was often jealous of Kindle, he could carry so many words so stylishly, he had lots of covers and could update his image whenever he wanted and he seemed so full of up-to-date, varied knowledge (although Paperback had a suspicion that Kindle’s invisible friend ‘inter netty’ had something to do with that). When he confided his jealousy to Kindle, Kindle just laughed kindly and said “I may carry words but you are you’re words and that is special”. “Besides you always smell so good” Kindle added.

Paperback soon realised that life wasn’t always so great for Kindle, he tired much more easily than Paperback (luckily he was so lightweight that at these times Paperback could carry him), he had sensitive skin which was prone to scratches and he had even more of a phobia of water than Paperback did (something about baterrrrees).

Eventually Paperback even managed to get Kindle a space in his book shop and before he knew it Kindle’s friends started to arrive, each newer and shinier than the last and asking for a place in the shop. Some people would come in to the shop and exclaim over Kindle and his friends, “ooooh aren’t they shiny” they would say or “that would save me some space in my suitcase, imagine having that many books with me all at once”. Other times people would head straight past Kindle’s stand and over to Paperback’s old friends, muttering something about the smell not being the same and how they wouldn’t be able to get used to not turning the pages. Sometimes it seemed like people found it hard to understand Paperback and Kindle’s friendship.

Then one day something wonderful happened, Paperback was dozing, in a magazine rack, when someone came in to the shop and picked him up, gently turned him over to read his blurb then popped him in a basket they were carrying. Paperback could not believe his luck, he had waited for this day for as long as he could remember. He would miss Kindle though, he thought sadly. The next thing that happened was even more surprising. The same customer wandered over to Kindle’s stand, spent awhile looking at Kindle and his friends and then who should join him in the basket but Kindle himself. They smiled at each other excitedly and crossed all their words that the customer had not made a mistake.

The next few hours seemed to go in a flash and before he knew it Paperback was being taken out of a bag and put on a shelf and who should be next to him but Kindle. They couldn’t believe their luck. We obviously belong together, they laughed happily. Their new owner treated them both very well and patiently explained to everyone who asked her the reasons she loved them both so much. ‘Surely you only need Kindle now?’, they would say. To this she answered “sometimes there is nothing quite like the feel of turning the pages of a really good book and I will never stop loving books just for being books. There’s something so magical about my relationship with the book, I have read, and I always want to share this magic with others. Paperback is happy to visit my family and friends and always comes back even more loved than before! Besides paperback has been there for me so many times with his comforting smell and his words that, although they stay the same, mean different things to me at different times in my life and I will never forget that”. “If you feel that way, then why do u need kindle?” they would add. “Arrr”, she said, “that’s easy too! Kindle loves to travel with me. He is so easy to carry and although he gets tired so do I so we both sleep at the same time. Kindle is also happy to talk about so many different things, he’s a great travel companion”.

So that’s how their life was. Kindle would go to some exotic places and return to tell Paperback all about them, whilst Paperback would update him on how all the family were. When they were at home they lived side by side on the bookcase and together welcomed many books in to their family. Paperbacks, hardbacks and ebooks were all welcome! Lydia, Paperback and Kindle all lived happily every after.



Leave a Comment
  1. Emily / Apr 12 2013 4:13 pm

    Yeah but you just know Kindle’s going to stab Paperback in the back one night. He seems shifty. 🙂

    • ljbradburn / Apr 12 2013 6:11 pm

      haha! you could be right there! We’ll have to see how it plays out. If he gets up to any mischief though I’ll let you know 😉 x


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