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The Proud Little Book

Posted by Kent Whittington on February 21, 2012 at 5:40 PM

For my readers,

This is a story that I had written many years ago, but had actually lost over time.  It isn't written quite the same as it was, but the story hasn't changed for the wording I assure you.  I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for viewing.


The Proud Little Book

by Kent Whittington



On a cold rainy night,

In the midst of a storm,

Sat a small little bookstore,

All cozy and warm.


All alone and content,

Very full of himself,

Sat a proud little book,

On the uppermost shelf.


His pages were crisp,

Gold lining their sides,

He was all bound in leather,

With gold leafing outside.


The other books did not like him,

He was boastful and proud,

He’d exclaim from his top shelf,

In a voice that was loud,


“I’m the best of the books,

I’m quite better than you,

My cover is handcrafted,

All shiny and new.


My bindings are tight,

My pages secure,

My title is brilliant,

Etched in gold that is pure.


My typeset is neat,

My borders are straight,

I’m the best of the books,

I’m really first rate!


There are no others like me,

I’m unique and quite rare,

I’m a limited edition,

Autographed by Voltaire!”


How those books hated his boasting

On day after day,

They wished that dumb book,

would just go away.


But he sat were he did,

Always full of himself,

That proud little book,

On the uppermost shelf.


On that cold rainy night,

That was mentioned before,

Something remarkable happened,

In that tiny bookstore.


Two ladies came in,

From the rain and the wet,

For a bit of light shopping,

For their book club event.


“This store is so quaint,”

One lady did say,

All these books are great reads,

For a cold rainy day!”


“Some may be a bit old,”

The other one said,

“But they’re fantastic reads all,

There’s no reason to dread.”


They shopped all of the shelves,

Emptying them neat,

“These books are the best!

Now our collection’s complete!”


They paid for their gains,

All happy and smiles,

With boxes of books,

But then, all the while,


Forgotten and alone,

Sitting all by himself,

Sat that sad, prideful book,

On the uppermost shelf.


“I don’t understand it,”

He said in despair,

“They bought all of the others,

With nary a care.


But they missed me up here,

They didn’t see me at all,

All of the others are gone now.”

He felt scared and quite small.


The days ran by fast,

Turning on into weeks,

Other shoppers did come,

Other books they did seek.


But no ever did buy him,

That proud little book,

And he was eventually moved,

To the lowermost nook.


Weeks turned into months,

He sat there for ages,

His leather was wearing,

And some kid wrote in his pages.


His pages had torn,

The gold lining was gone,

His bindings had loosened,

As he sat all alone.


He’d cried and despaired,

He would never be sold,

He feared for his future,

As he sat growing old.


“Why so sad little book?”

said a voice old and weary,

“Why do you sit there,

All sadness and teary?”


“Who’s there?” asked the book,

in a voice scared and wary,

“It is I, Webster, of course,

The store’s old dictionary.”


“What has you so down?

Why are you so sad?

Why do you feel sorrow?

Are things really so bad?”


“They are,” the book said,

“No one wants me, you know,

I’m an old, worn out book,

On this shelf, far below.


I thought I was special,

I thought I was grand,

There was nothing quite like me,

I was the best in the land.


But look at me now,

My pages aren’t neat,

I’ve been handled and tossed,

I’ve been mangled and beat.


I’m and old worn out book,

No one wants me, you see,

How could a book buyer,

Buy something like me?”


But Webster abided,

He didn’t feel sad,

He answered his new friend,

In a voice that was glad.


You don’t understand,

You prideful young book,

Does it matter all,

About the way that you look?


Look at me, if you will,

I’m old and I’m torn,

I once had gold leafing,

I wasn’t always so worn.


But I’m smart and I’m useful,

I’m read all of the time,

My words are well versed,

In song and in rhyme.


I’m the source of the language,

That people might read,

I’m the one that they come to,

For a reference they need.


In my way I’m an asset,

I’ve been around for ages,

But do you think people view me,

By the look of my pages?


It’s not just the cover,

That makes you unique,

It’s what’s inside that counts

It’s the content some seek.


So listen to me,

Don’t ever despair,

Don’t have any worries,

Don’t have any cares.


You’ll find that you’re special,

To someone who’ll love,

The stories inside of you,

They’ll value above,


Everything else,

For the wonders inside

Spark the imagination,

That’s the best reason for pride.


So sit here awhile,

Be at peace where you lay,

Knowing one day you’ll be found,

And read straight away.”


And the proud little book,

Thought a moment and said,

“Webster, I will,

I want to be read!


For it’s not how I look,

That defines what I am,

It’s the content inside me,

That makes me feel grand.


I’ll sit here a bit,

I’ll be content with my fate,

While I have a new friend to,

Converse with and wait.


For that day to arrive,

When a person walks in,

To the bookstore to buy me,

And I’ll go with a grin.”


He waited and waited,

But he never was sold,

But he never was sad,

As he sat growing old.


And he was actually read,

Time and again,

Buy the bookstore employees,

And he gave them a grin.


And he was never alone,

But was now proud of himself,

Being the old, well read book,

On the lowermost shelf.

Categories: Short Stories

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