Saturday Snippet: Black and White Pages

1:00 AM

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“I don’t understand how you can read all the time. The pages are flat, lifeless, and in black and white. Life, real life outside of the pages of a book, has color and shape that no page ever captured.”

“They are only flat and lifeless because you want them to be,” Fredrick said, running his hands over the cover of the book he held. “Pride and Prejudice is hardly a lifeless story. I read it myself.” He cleared his throat. “Don’t tell my brother. John says it’s a feminine book, and hated it when your sister made him read part of it.”

“I don’t make books lifeless,” Emmeline protested, snatching her book away from him and letting it fall open on her lap. “Look, it’s flat, no color, no people that stand up and are real. I would much rather just sit at the diner at the corner of Main Street and watch people go walk about. Observing people or talking with friends is much more interesting than reading black words on white paper.”

You’re the one making it so,” Fredrick repeated. “You’ve so much imagination when it comes to parties and matchmaking. Put that same effort into your books and you’ll see them for what they were meant to be. The black and white words will quickly change to living people and events that will sweep you away in their tide. Perhaps you ought to try something modern.”

Emmeline gave an impatient sigh. “Please, do not recommend Magnificent Obsession again. It didn’t take me but five pages to find vulgar speech and a confusing number of people trying to speak all at once.”

“I was actually going to suggest that author your mother loved so much. Remember that book that you read while you were sick? The Obsession of Victorian?”

“It was The Obsession of Victorian Gracen by Grace Livingston Hill, and it was good, but I’m just not into reading. Wouldn’t you rather play a game?”

He smiled and stood. “I’ll get the checkerboard.”


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