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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Leaning Tower of Books

Image found here
Outside the entrance to the mall stands an odd sculpture, beckoning people to approach it. It's a leaning tower of books--moldering, wrinkling, fraying books. Hard-bound and paperback cling to an Eiffel-shaped structure. Books such as Funk and Wagnalls Family Health (circa 1970), The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (circa 1950?), and The Norman Conquest (1940?). Goldenrod fabric hard-bound books and black-and-white glossies are deemed too old, uninteresting, out of touch, and so they have become art subject to wind, rain, pollen, and passersby.

This sculpture stands because our local library has recently been displaced during a period of renovations. Now you can grab a pizza, get your nails done, and check out a book.

I went inside the library to the YA section. As I sought the hottest books, kneeling in the stacks, I felt my knees pop and crack. I had to be careful I didn't tweak the one I injured back in the day, at 33. I wondered as I searched the shelves if people think I'm a mom seeking novels for her teen.

I'm aging. We're all aging. That was my unoriginal thought being at the library today. It's also my thought looking at my manuscript. Time is passing. Sweat's poured into the thing, warping some of the pages. On the cover blooms the mold of many opinions--some good, some not so good.

One day very soon, when I have the strength in my bones, I'll make a decision about this work of art. For now, I must stand tall and lean into the wind, hoping there are answers for old things, retro things that might still have a tale to tell.