Long, slender fingers enclosed the book, captured it in a cradle of skin and bone. The book, a paperback space opera in the grand style of ‘Doc’ Smith, fluttered occasionally in a half-hearted way, but made no real effort to get free. Now being read for the third time, it looked brand new, unmarked, the tawdry cover perfect. The fingers, smudged with ink and occasionally cramped from lack of movement, left black smears along the outer edge of each page, but the rest they treated with elaborate care. These fingers had never broken a spine, never dog-eared a page, never carelessly set a book down in a pool of bath water. The books were insistent about that.

Spring and the Arachnodactylist
Metaphorosis: a collection of stories
Published 22-Jun-2013

About the story: Based on a true story about books and their servants.