Growing up I wasn’t like other kids. I didn’t want to play tag at recess, or go over to the neighbor’s house and play their video games. I barely even wanted to run around with the family dog. No, nobody really understood me, but that’s okay because books are my best friends. My best friends.
Books have always been my friends. Every book, every single book in my house and your house and the Library of Congress is my best friend and not yours. They told me. Every book I’ve ever read has said that I’m they’re favorite out of everyone who’s read them, and I tell them all of my secrets and they never tell anyone, especially not Christine. Do the books you read tell you that?
In a way books are like people to me because they are my best friends, but don’t be mistaken. I like books more than people. Books are my escape from the real world. You can do anything you want inside the pages of a book with no consequences. You can be whoever you want, man or woman, adult or child, hero or villain. You can hurt. You can kill. You can kill and nobody will be the wiser inside a book, because books keep secrets like best friends should.
Do you write your friends heartfelt letters every month, chronicling your everyday experiences and thoughts on love? I do. I do that with Pride & Prejudice and 100 Years of Solitude and the entire Goosebumps series. Oh yes, I have quite a diverse group of best friends but they are all my best friends, and they never get jealous and they never spread rumors and they never start dating Jason even though they totally knew you had a crush on him first.
I have best friends that are short and best friends that are long. I have funny best friends and sad best friends and adventurous best friends. I have best friends with gay protagonists and you don’t and that’s really closed-minded of you.
Books are so much my best friends that they’re my family. I have the paperwork here that I found in a book that says I can make my parents not my family. I’m my own family, just me and my books, my real family. Little Women is my mom and Redwall is my dad and my siblings are all of Elena Ferrante’s novels and someday I’m going to marry The Bell Jar and you won’t be invited because you never liked books anyway, not like I do.
Books give me strength. Reading gives me power. I have unlimited power. The books tell me soon I’ll have enough power to make them live, to release them from their paper prisons. It’ll be the books’ world then, and because I’m their best friend they will treat me kindly. You really made a mistake, not befriending books. You’ll be sorry. You’ll see.