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The Open Book

The Open Book
by Jace Daniel (b. 1969)

There once was a book on a shelf. This book was unlike any other, and for many years sat quietly on the shelf, closed, with all its pages hidden from view behind its hard cover.

One day, the book became bored with being closed. Desiring something new, it took itself off the shelf, found a clear spot on the table, and opened itself up to the world, revealing its written words, sentences, and paragraphs. Its pages became free to turn by all who found them interesting. The book soon learned that the less it had to hide, the more comfortable it was with its place in the world.

Before very long, a pair of reading glasses, who had been regularly visiting the book’s pages, approached the book. “I don’t know how you do it,” the reading glasses said.

“What do you mean?” asked the book.

“You’re giving the world all your information,” said the reading glasses. “For free.”

“How so?” asked the book.

“Everything written on your pages is there for the world to see,” said the reading glasses. “And quite honestly, it can be too much information.”

“How so?” asked the book.

“Well,” said the reading glasses, “Allowing others to freely flip through your pages and know everything about you can be dangerous. If you let them know everything about you, they may misread you, and they’ll draw their own conclusions.”

“Is that a bad thing?” asked the book.

“It can be,” said the reading glasses.

“But why should I spend time caring about somebody who would choose to jump to conclusions about me?” asked the book. “It’d be better not to have met them at all.”

“I’m just saying it can be dangerous,” said the reading glasses.

“And do you know everything about me?” asked the book.

“Indeed I do,” said the reading glasses.

“How so?” asked the book.

“I know everything about you because I can read,” said the reading glasses. “I’ve read everything written in your pages. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter. From cover to cover. You’re an open book. There’s nothing I don’t know about you.”

“Ah,” said the book. “But that’s simply not true.”

“How so?” asked the reading glasses.

The book laughed at the obvious.

“Not everything in a book is written.”

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