Essay on Autobiography of a Book
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Do you know where I am talking from? It is the happiest place I could be in right now. You might be shocked when I tell you that I am indeed pleased to be lying in a coffin. Let me tell you how I ended up here.
I am an ocean of knowledge, a vast sea of information. I am someone’s feelings; I am another’s story. I am a book. In ancient times, I was made from papyrus or parchment, but now I’m made using so many different kinds of paper.
I remember my first home. It was a reader’s paradise; the library. I was kept on a shelf with other books like myself. Our genre was Children’s storybooks. My two favourite things about living there were first, the librarian and second, the sweet children.
The librarian always made sure that we were dusted, clean and well kept. Never once did she keep us in any other place except for our fixed ones. She was very disciplined and warm. She handled us with so much care and respect.
And what do I tell you about the giggling children and their compassionate mothers! They were happiest when they came to our shelf.
Mothers read me to their children on several nights while they went to sleep. The little ones loved the playful font and the colourful pictures printed on my pages. I always came back home after a week, never late.
Then one day, a child named Tony took me to his house. His home was very big, and his room was full of giant stuffed animals. He was old enough to read me himself. He used to read me at the breakfast table, he used to take me with him to his school, and he even kept me close while sleeping.
I knew I had found my best friend. But one day, Tony’s dad came home and told him and his mother that they had to move to a new city because of his job. Tony’s mother had to return me back to the library. But Tony never did give me to her. He told her that he had lost me. So, his mother paid the fine at the library, and I went to his new home, in a new city with him.
Life there was good at first. Just like before, Tony and I were always close. But then he started growing and forgot all about me. I was stuffed in a messy drawer near his bed. The drawer was hardly ever opened. Dirt started piling up on me, and even bookworms made their way into eating my paper.
The feeling at first when they were crawling was ticklish, but soon it turned out to be very painful. Tony was interested only in the newest technology and latest gadgets. He started spending all of his time playing video games and chatting on his cell phone.
I got to know that many people stopped buying books or going to the libraries. All of them started using the internet for unending information. I had never felt more invaluable and lonely.
Then one day after a very long time when Tony’s mother was cleaning the house, she opened the drawer where I laid. I don’t think she remembered me. She emptied all of the contents of the drawer into a plastic bag and handed it over to the housemaid. She gave it to her so that her child could use it. The housemaid happily took it and went home.
My new owner was a 5 year old girl. Her name was Blossom. I was so shabby and so dirty. So many of my pages were torn or half-eaten. I thought that she would throw me away just after getting one look at my condition.
But she didn’t. She loved me. I was the only book that she had. For her, I was not just a book, but an irreplaceable treasure. Her father used to teach her how to read me at night. She used to learn with so much dedication.
I still can’t forget the spark in her eyes. Neither was her house very big, nor did she have many toys. She just had a stuffed animal, a kitchen set and me. Maybe having fewer things makes a person want to value them more!
She used to read me to her stuffed toy every night. She kept me under her pillow all the time and made sure that I was squeaky clean at all times. I was the happiest I had ever been in a very long time. Little did I know that this happiness was only short-lived.
Blossom had Leukaemia. It is a type of blood cancer. Her parents did not have enough money to get her treated at the best hospitals. They made sure that she got the best care possible in whatever they could afford.
Only a few days after her 6th birthday, Blossom was taken to the hospital as her condition was terrible. Upon reaching the hospital, the doctor told her parents that she had less than 24 hours left to live.
They were devastated. Tears could not stop rolling down their eyes. But Blossom was so strong. She told her father to take good care of her mother and said to them that she would watch over them from heaven.
She held her father’s hand and asked him to read her, her favourite book one last time. I was taken to the hospital, and if I could express my feelings or speak, I would have told her how proud I was of her. She was a fighter. After she slept, her father kissed her forehead and slipped me under her pillow.
At her funeral, her father buried me with her. It wasn’t Tony, but Blossom, who was meant to be my life long pal. Books are said to be the best friend of a man, and they indeed are. No amount of technology can replace the smell of newly printed ink and the feel of fresh, crisp paper.