Alyssa paced through the library shelves in time to the clock ticking, scanning the book titles one by one. She was the pickier kind of reader. Here were her rules: 

  1. NO kissing or romance-related stuff
  2. Too many pages were NOT allowed
  3. Too little pages were NOT allowed
  4. The book could only range from half an inch to two inches
  5. NO mushy talk AT ALL or else this book SUCKED
  6. Up to 3 antagonists ONLY 
  7. Up to 3 protagonists ONLY
  8. Title HAD TO BE interesting OR ELSE she would NOT read it
  9. Had to have a good turning point or plot twist
  10. Had to have at least one female protagonist
  11. NO annoying siblings
  12. NO antagonist family members of the protagonist because that's just NOT cool

... And so on. Here was her special way of picking books to read:

  1. HAD to follow all her rules about binding thickness and titles
  2. HAD to be fantasy, realistic fiction, or mystery genre
  3. HAD to have good cover and spine art
  4. HAD to be very new and not have ANY stains
  5. COULD NOT include more than five words in the title

Yeah, that was a lot of rules. Following them her whole life, she had read only forty books in total. Her mother complained twenty-four-seven about her reading. Despite this, Alyssa always got excellent grades where her mother expected her to fail.

Alyssa ran her fingers across the book spines, feeling for a silky and smooth texture. A few were weirdly lumpy. Her forefinger brushed against a leathery and rugged binding and she flinched. Curiously, she slid the book out and examined it. It had no title and was covered in an old leather casing.

Ooooooooooooooooh! Her brain went, I want to read this!  

“Yes?” The ancient librarian said in an annoyingly drowsy tone that reminded Alyssa of a slug that had once been inching around her backyard. “Anything I can help you with?”

“I want to read this book,” She said briskly, pushing the book and her library card toward her.

“Ah, I read this book when I was young. Well, read it if you must. It might leave you quite irritated, I might add.” The librarian scanned the barcode and Alyssa's card, then slid them back. “Enjoy anyways.”

Eeeeeep! I’m so excited! I haven’t read a book that left me IRRITATED before!!! This is a first! Alyssa screamed in her brain. She didn’t care anymore if the book was old and dirty. She was going to read it no matter what. 

“You got a book? Well, that was fast!” Her mom said happily as Alyssa walked over and opened the car door. “Are you becoming more of a bookworm now?”

“NO!!!” Alyssa protested, buckling her seatbelt and flipping open the book. Her mother shook her head and smiled, starting to drive home.

“Enjoy reading,” Her mother said.

I will! I mean, why not? This book seems interesting and VERY COOL since the librarian said that it IRRITATED her!!! I wonder what could irritate such an ancient and ‘wise’ person!! Alyssa thought.

Dear reader,

I wrote this book especially for you. If you picked this book out and were drawn to it, you need it desperately although you might not know it.

As Isaac Newton said: ‘To any action, there is always an opposite and equal reaction; in other words, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and always opposite in direction.’ Explain why.

The rest of the page was blank, which was very odd. Alyssa flipped forward until she reached another page with words, which was page 94. 

There is always a reason for what people say. Either it’s good or bad, it’s still a reason. People who accept this world and their lives are the wisest of all in my opinion. Wisdom does not come from knowledge, but acceptance. May people disagree with me and show their true opinion instead of pretending they think I am right.

Well, this is weird, Alyssa thought, confused, the gears in her brain clinking away. I wonder what this means and what it’s supposed to teach me. And the fact that this book irritated the librarian is really weird. How could this irritate anyone?

Respecting the opinions and beliefs of others is very important. You will never get far in life if you stay put and try to convince people that they are wrong instead of moving on. Respect others. There is always a possibility that they are right instead. Never try to change one’s mind when the two of you disagree on something. 

“Actually, this book is kinda cool,” Alyssa said out loud without realizing.

“I’m glad you like it!” Her mother said.

Alyssa smacked her forehead and went back to reading.

Time is important. One only lives their life (or multiple lives, no one knows) with such limited time before they die. You must choose wisely before making decisions because each move you make spirals out into more possibilities and change what people might do in the future. Think first before you take your move: What choice would save me time and benefit people at the same time? Is this choice smart? Am I being sensible about this?

Perseverance and a growth mindset help greatly with your life. If you let something stop you, you will waste time. Break through that brick wall of negative thoughts and disabilities, and charge ahead on your path of life. Let nothing stop you. 

Every life is sacred. Even if someone has committed bad deeds or an unforgivable crime, their life is sacred. Remember, do not ever take the life of any living thing. This ranges from the tiniest ants and blads of grass to the large predators roaming the ocean. Plants are living things too. 

You must always protect your life with your life. Nothing is more beautiful than life itself. Your life is the most sacred thing you own. If you’re dead, what can you do?

This was the kind of book Alyssa had been searching for her whole life without realizing.

April 24, 2021 22:52

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Mina Kovačević
20:30 May 01, 2021

I love this, it's very engaging and not overly-descriptive like most stories on this website. I'd just like you to add how Alyssa felt after she read the book and what she did to change her life because of it, I would gladly read a part two if you wrote it :)


Emery Starshine
22:14 May 07, 2021

:) Thanks! I'll definitely look for a prompt that might fit the idea of part two.


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Cassandra Levone
19:05 May 03, 2021

Wow!!! I really like your story, and can relate to being a somewhat picky reader. And the way you show her finding the perfect book was beautiful- Short and simple. I absolutely love it!!! (Your pfp is really cute too!! Is it an Espeon??)


Emery Starshine
22:15 May 07, 2021

Yeah, chibi Espeon!


Cassandra Levone
23:47 May 07, 2021

Sweet!! I love Umbreon and Espeon!! XD


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