Prose by Wayne Visser
~ Books are the ongoing conversation of the ages ~Do you have a soft spot for books, a weakness for their charms? Do you think of books with fondness, regard them with affection? Perhaps you would even go so far as to say that you have a love affair with books? Books are such sweet seduction. Who can resist the coy enticement of an enigmatic title, the alluring perfume of virginal pages, or the beckoning gesture of a back cover synopsis? Dressed in shining leather, laced with gold trim, trailing a teasing ribbon, who can fail to be bewitched? Or are you beguiled by the more rugged, travel-savvy type, whose rough looks hint at adventures barely survived? Whatever your preference, books have a way of grabbing our attention, revealing just enough to pique our interest and then string us along, toying with our emotions, keeping us guessing. With each successive chapter, another button is undone, another layer shed, another feature unveiled. Some books are a sun-kissed afternoon spent in pleasant idle chatter. Others are a romantic-laden dinner full of suggestive glances. And still others are a pace-quickening ride ending in a breathless climax. What are your favourite books? Can you remember the first book that made a real impact on you? When we learn to read, we forge a magical key to a vault of unimaginable hoarded wealth. When we enter in, the vast cavern is stacked from floor to ceiling with treasure chests, just waiting for us to open them and find out what is inside. Every book is a mystery trapped between two covers. And we are the only ones who can release the riddle from bondage. We are the only ones who can undertake the fairytale quest to discover its secrets. When we start reading a book, we are blind to the journey we are about to undertake, of the magical places we will visit and the mortal dangers we will encounter. We have no idea how the story will end, not least the tale of our own transformation. For every book is a philosopher’s stone, a rite of alchemy which changes us. Books are a meeting place – between author and reader, between expressed intent and receptive imagination, between past and present. Whoever said that time travel has yet to be invented has never read a book. Books transport us back in history, to exotic places and strange times. For all books are a child of their time. We see old worlds through new eyes, and new worlds through old eyes. There are no limits to where the enchanted time-machine we call books can take us. And yet, no matter how far we travel, in time and space, in creativity and imagination, we end up back at the same place we started – the place where people connect. Books are always about relationships, about the interaction between characters. Books are the dialogue which never ends, the eternal human conversation. We can choose how much of the dialogue to listen to, how much of the conversation to participate in. We can voice our agreement or register our dissent. And every word will add to the evolving story of humankind. Books are power in our hands and wisdom in our heads. Books are passion in our hearts and levity in our souls. They are all these things and more. Yet their ready accessibility keeps books out of the reach of many. Their common appearance disguises their unbelievable worth. Do not let yourself be fooled. Claim your prize today. Set off on a journey into the unknown. Allow yourself to be seduced. What book will you choose? And more tellingly, what book will choose you?
Wayne Visser © 2005
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