The books had always sat there. Their spines, once twisted to and fro, had now been claimed by age. Tired, they had been left to fray and fade and fall silent on the shelf. The last bloom of these books was in the curling, painted leaves on their covers - they seemed to battle on like all unlucky, growing things - desperately thrusting their tiny, coloured leaves towards the light. She gazed at them. Those poor tomes, forced into unnatural sleep. No pages allowed to turn, no words allowed to escape and whirl around a new mind, scattering their seeds of delight and wonder. She gazed at them, willing them to wake at once and furiously fan their pages, unleashing their cascade of knowledge into her soul. But they remained, silent, slumbering, hidden within themselves, and she daren't wake them.