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BookCrossing Dialogue

An interaction in one scene
by ordgddss
July 1, 2004
It’s a quiet, beautiful day in the park. During her lunch hour a young lady strolls past a deserted park bench when:

BookCrossing Book (BCB): Psst…

Random Book Lover (RBL): Wha-?

BCB: Hey you!

RBL: Who? Where?

BCB: Over here.

(RBL turns head in direction of soft, yet confident voice, but sees no one. No other human is nearby. The only thing she spies with her little eye is an abandoned paperback book. To see such a lonely book makes her sad, so she walks over to the bench upon which the book sits. She bends to pick up the book - )

BCB: Hi there!

(RBL straightens abruptly, unbelieving that she was verbally greeted by a book. She looks around, certain that she is being filmed. Still no one about. She turns back to the book, a trace of trepidation entering her mind.)

BCB: No, you’re not going crazy. I really am trying to get your attention.

RBL: (certain she seems loony, but willing to go along) Why are you doing this?

BCB: Just read my yellow sticky and my bookplate.

(Without picking up the book, RBL does so, and is fascinated despite herself. Registering and releasing a book to travel around the world? And people of all walks of life and cultures possibly reading this self-same book? What a novel (excuse the pun) and marvelous concept! Still, RBL has doubts.)

RBL: Why can I hear you speak? Why me?

BCB: You love to read, don’t you? And you love books, right? (RBL nods, holding her copy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy closer to her chest.) Well, people who love books as much as you do will always hear my call, and the calls of those like me. Because we know you’ll get it. You’ll pick us up and do right by us. That’s all we want, really. To be done right by. Just like any other living thing.

RBL: But you’re not a living thing. You’re an inanimate object.

BCB: Do you really think so? As many books as you’ve read, do you honestly believe that? Were my friends and I truly inanimate, could we have taken you to as many worlds, help you experience as many lives and cultures as we have?

RBL: I guess not.

BCB: I didn’t think so.


BCB: So? Will you take me home and read me? Will you do right by me?

(It takes RBL less than a split second to consider.)

RBL: Yes, I will. Thanks for getting my attention. This is going to be fun! (She picks up the not-so-abandoned copy of The Hotel New Hampshire and takes it with her, a jazzed smile on her face. Five minutes pass, then, from behind a nearby bush, exit two people…)

BookCrosser #1: Cool! I can’t believe that actually worked!

BookCrosser #2: I know! Now we only have nine more books to release today. We can bring the other ten tomorrow. Is the speaker still in place?

BookCrosser #1: Yep. Someone else is coming! Quickly!

(They place Job on the bench and jump behind the bush. A bespectacled gentleman walks by, American Gods in hand.)

BCB #2: Psst…


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