Monday, September 10, 2012

Keeping the Bookshelf Alive by Deng Xiang


Have you ever gazed up at the stars and thought how beautiful they looked? Sure you do. I revel in their beauty the same way I look at the tottering book stacks on my bookshelf. One book in particular that strikes my eyes is an eight-centimeter-thick, dog-eared, physics assessment book, listing recondite questions and pithy solutions that I referred to thousands of times in preparation for the grueling examinations. It will always stay on my bookshelf, a memory of my time perusing physics, an equal reminder of my determination and resilience.

My bookshelf is just as mercurial as humans. Humans are always in a state of flux, while our blood courses through the numerous blood vessels in our bodies. Similarly, my bookshelf changes monthly. Borrowed books get returned to the library once a month. Typically, I limit myself to checking out ten at a time, or else I would never be able to satiate my love for books. As I place them into the bag, causing it to bulge, I often have a paranoid feeling that others might think I’m a demented bibliophile.

At home, I dutifully place my books onto the bookshelf. If I have free time, I’ll indulge in a story, picking any of the books from random. It might be perceived as drudgery to my friends, since they habitual play online multiplayer games. I try to see it from their point-of-view, but I don't even have a mild interest in online games. I do read fantasy books, but that doesn’t mean that I play fantasy games. To me, the gory images and bloodshed induced from meaningless combats stay in the mind, and can even affect sleep. On the other hand, when I read fantasy books, equally gory at times, I get to imagine the story for myself, learn about creative writing, and also steer clear of eyesore caused by staring at the computer screen (at least with paper books).

At the end of the month, I might not finish all my borrowed books. Nevertheless, I return them to the library, and renew my favorite, undiscovered gems. Bookshelves shouldn’t be left to collect dust. Rather, they should be cleaned off and mended periodically. Although my bookshelf isn’t bedecked with glittering diamonds, or made of high-quality maple wood, what matters most is having books at my disposal, in any genre, to savor whenever there’s time. 
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Bio: Deng Xiang speaks, writes articles, poems and stories while sharing his passion for all things erudite and salient. Mainly, his subsistence comprises of highbrow literature from chemistry to pure mathematics. His appetite for knowledge never ceases, even if he got an accomplishment worth showing off.

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