A stadium. Rows upon rows of seats, circling an empty sandpit in the middle. The roof of the building is hidden somewhere in the darkness, you can only guess how high it actually is. The stadium is in dipped in shadows, two beams of light illuminating the sandpit. There is a hushed silence. Then…backfeed of a microphone. Somebody thumps it in a “Is this thing on?” motion before a voice booms through the stadium.
“Wait, let me put on my announcer voice. Ahrm.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, rrrreaders and wrrriters! Hello and welcome to the first and annual BOOK GAAAAAMES! The suspense, the drama, the sound of ripping pages! Which team will come out on TOOOO-OOOOOPP!?”
At this point the announcer has a coughing fit in the sound booth while somebody else is running to get him a bottle of water. I will use this diversion to give you some crucial insight to what’s actually happening here.
After Rukky from Eternity Books has announced her April themes for Let’s talk bookish an age old feud between the two clans of Owned Books and Library Books has risen again. Library windows have beens smashed, library card stocks have been stolen, bookshops smeared with anti-buy graffity and delivery trucks’ tires had been smashed. Let me tell you, fems and chums, it was war and it was bloody.
In the end librarians and book merchands have come to the sad conclusion that a peaceful coexistence would no longer be possible as long as the books were running amok in the night. Hence, a tournament has been announced to determine the winner and bring an end to the madness, dripping in ink and papershards.
(Yes, I’m just being totally crazy here. At this point…just roll with it, people.)
“In the blue corner – THE LI-BRA-RY BOOO-OOOOKSSSS!!!”
There is a distinct noice of flapping and thumping and clacking from the left section of the stadium. The spotlights are leaving the sandpits to dance frantically over the rows and rows of seats which we know can see are full of books. Pages are fluttering, covers are waving, books are opening and shutting with audible bangs.
The spotlights are moving towards the sandpit again, where one single book – obviously the contestant getting into the ring for the Library books – has stepped into the blue corner.
“And in the red corner – the OWNED BOOOOOOOOOKS!!!”
This time the right section of the stadium is giving the cheers their all, an icrebible noise from books who must have sneeked out of bookstores and homesteads from all over the place. It is not distinguishable what kind of book they have selected as their champion but it looks like it’s in pristine condition. A bell rings and the fight for the ages begins.
The library books advances first and deals some critical blows:
- one copy alone can make many people happy
- more durability due to often being wrapped in protective foil
- patrons can take out as many as they want
- cannot stay with one patron forever
- patrons often take more than they can read which results in late fees, anger and unread books
- some patrons might not take very good care of the borrowed books
- only one copy available per book which is often checked out
Round One is over. The library books has dealed some critical blows but also had to take some damage. Ink stains are darkening the sand. Both books are hanging their pages while they are resting before the fight goes to Round Two.
- has a proper home and will be loved by one owner forever
- can be read whenever without a timelimit or worries about having to take it back unfinished
- earlier availability
- more selection
- might take a lot of space in a person’s home that they don’t have
- hard to take back after a certain time period when the owner discovers he doesn’t like the book
- reading tastes change, so some bought books might have to wait forever to be read
The stadium is dead silent. The contrahents are lying in the sand unmoving. Pages are ripped, paper is littering the sandpit. There is a murmur, a rustling of pages going through the crowds. One spectator leaves, then another. Slowly the stadium empties.
It’s a draw. No winner, no loser. Just two books fighting an unnecessary fight.
I guess I have completely lost my marbels, haven’t I? 😆 I had great fun writing this and came to the conclusion that both options – borrowing and buying books – have their pros and cons. I like doing both, so there could have never been a winner. I really enjoyed writing this though and I hope you’ve had fun reading. 😉