Did you ever fall asleep with your face in a book?

Did you ever fall asleep with your face in a book?
The smell of words seeping in through your nose, the feel of paper flying against your cheek with every breath you take, heave: Light and thin, like the wind on butterfly wings!

The paper smell is the best smell in the world. I suddenly wish I would work in a library: all those long lines of books, big and small, old and new, in huge wooden cupboards, the thoughts settling like dust on the shelves. The words hover in the air mingling with the scent of antique teak and parchment: that old library smell. I walk through the lanes that separate each track, the fiction from the travelogues, the poetry from the novels, the thrillers from the romance.

I wonder how many books are in here, how many pages, how many words?! If words were like stars, I could count them. The words heard me. Trapped for ages, between lines and pages, they became desperate to seek an escape. A momentary flight? Maybe leaving their pages for a while to flutter about the walls of the old library room. The thoughts grew thicker and the shelves buzzed with noise. The ground started to shake and the room filled up with strange waves of exhilaration. Ah, the sweet taste of freedom: ESCAPE! The shelves shook heavily, tumbling books all over the place. But wonder of wonders, the books didn’t falling to the ground. They flew up, like little men on moon, hovering in the air. All around me the books were flying about; flittering open to pages unknown, the words flowing out like music from a flute; in distinct black letters one after the other.

Oh, what an awful librarian I must make! The place is a mess, with a thousand flying words: unruly children prancing about. I need to put them back in the books, I decided; It was my bad idea after all, I thought. So I chased them: ‘happiness’, ‘if’, ‘but’, ‘love’, but they escaped, from between my very fingers…Every time! The words flew away from me. It was a futile chase. Like the disappointed sun child of failed butterfly chase in summer, I flopped down on the cold hard floor, defeated. The words took to the sky. The room filled up with voices coming from nowhere; Reading voices, like grandpa narrating bed time tales. The words flew up with the silent voices, flying with the lilt of the music. Up, up and above they went like a bird swooned by a faerie lullaby, dancing to the rhythm of the reading voices. Up into the air, they lit up the ceiling, hovering, shining, blinking like stars in the sky. I could count them now; On the ceiling – near and yet so far – ‘happiness’, ‘if’, ‘but’, ‘love’. The light of the words fall on my face, etching their shadows on my temple, chest and feet. ‘Happiness’ on my forehead, ‘love’ over my eyes, ‘if’ and ‘but’ playing in long shadows over my lips.

Paper thin. The words smell like ages past; And a love that never knew it was loved.

I dream awake!

Breathing in, breathing out.

The smell of words seeping in through my nose, the feel of paper flying against my cheek with every breath I take, heave: Light and thin, like the wind on butterfly wings!

Did you ever fall asleep with your face in a book?



  1. I have fallen asleep with my face in a book. despite the age of electronic books, nothing compares to holding a hardback, and the smell of newly-printed pages.
    Thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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