I love the warm smell more than baked bread.
I love the old stories flooding back through my head.
I love the middle-age chatter, with child like mutters,
finding old favorites in old familiar covers.
I love the personalised fountain-penned message,
carefully scribed and meticulously dated.
I don't care about the number of dog eared pages,
or the tell-tale signs of well worn aging.
Tea stains and small tears - they don't bother me,
each tell a new tale beyond what I can see.
I love the weight of the years sitting in my hand,
I love the tether to past lives multi- second-hand.
With memories of libraries with warm worn carpets,
wall to wall adventures and sun faded artists,
battered yellow seats, shooshed conversations,
quietly spoken protests at the books being rationed.
I stayed past closing, riding trains of free thought
with Tin Tin, Asterix and old Mrs Pepperpot.
I'm still drawn to the pages and the feeling inside
second-hand stories where memories reside.
My dad taught me to love reading. My kids learnt it for me.