Sunday 21 November 2021

Nerd Church - I Want The Books To Be OK


'I Want the Books To Be OK' with a background of books on shelves >

When I'm tired, my brain sometimes throws out  random phrases. 

Straight-forward things like, 'I'm so tired,' and 'I wanna be a kitty-cat' (because, well, why wouldn't you?)

Amongst these understandable statements, sometimes it throws out weird ones.

The other day it threw out a new one that I'm still trying to figure out.

Out of nowhere, the thought popped into my head: I want the books to be OK.

And I stopped short. 

And I thought... what the hell does that mean?

I want the books to be OK.

Why wouldn't the books be OK?

Is there some sort of threat to them? 

Was I thinking of paper books, perhaps, too close to an open flame. 

Or e-books, somehow in danger of mass file corruption.

Was I worried about books in the abstract? 

That somehow the very concept of books would fade, would fall, would burn.

That the swirl of pages and words and magic would somehow be dulled by the world we're living in, by the subsuming chaos of the modern world with all its problems.

Are books in danger from the threats to the rest of the planet? From the temperature changes and climate disasters?

Are they threatened by the dragging pull of pollution, politics, and persecution?

Are books threatened by the acidity of humanity? Are we destroying what we've created?

Is our attitude to blame? Are they losing their power, their magic? 

Will there be a day when we can't wrap them around ourselves and dance in their rain beneath their sunshine? 

Will there be a day when we don't want them any more?

Will there be a day when we can't have them?

Will there be a day where they're taken off the shelves because they speak words that others don't approve of?

How is it only ever one side that can claim free speech? And why is it never the side that needs most to speak?

Why is it that the people most wronged aren't allowed to speak about the wrongdoing? But those in the wrong may paint themselves as right as much as they like.

And should we turn the volume down on the loudest ones? Or does that make us just like them?

Are the books not OK because there's so many of them now - more than any one of us could read in our lifetimes?

Are they drowning in mass consumption? Edged out by overpopulation?

Screaming in a crowded room, unheard amongst the pressing noise.

Restricted, constricted, unable to sing and soar and swirl and breathe and live.

...Are we drowning out the magic?

Is it not the books that I'm worried about at all?

Is it this brutal, beautiful, world - seemingly intent on tearing itself apart?

Is it just that, to me, books and the world are one and the same? That one cannot exist without the other.

Do I want the books to be OK because without them there is no world - not to me anyway?

Because without books there is no truth, no magic, no hope, no life. Because books and stories are more vital than atoms and molecules and waves and particles. 

Without stories - without the weaving of fact and fiction to create, define, expand, and discover truth - there is no reality.

I want the books to be OK. Don't you?

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  1. I want the books to be okay too. Where I live, there's been an increase in people trying to get books banned from schools and libraries. Some of their reasons for wanting a book banned are profoundly stupid. I question if they've even read the book they're trying to ban.

    1. I've been seeing a few things coming from the US about book banning. And it's so weird. (And I'm pretty sure most people haven't read the books they're trying to ban.) <3


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