I love you. No, really, I do. More than you know. I have remained a faithful and supportive fan of yours since I was in the womb, and my mom and dad read me some of your stories as I grew.
You’ve been there with me through every part of my life, constantly offering me advice, encouragement, refuge, and love whenever I needed it. Do you remember?
You were there when I was a child and you understood that I’d much rather be inside reading from your pages than outside where I was allergic to everything. You took me away to Neverland, and Oz, and Wonderland. The stories you shared inspired me, nurtured my imagination.
And you were there when I moved to Mississippi, a place so unlike where I came from. Books, you told me it was okay to be scared and gave me courage to start school.
And you were there when I was insecure and needed somewhere to hide. You gave me stories of other worlds with other people who were confident and beautiful, and you told me that I was too. You told me it was okay to be who I was, that if someone didn’t like it they weren’t someone I needed in my life. And even though I didn’t find any characters who, like me, didn’t have any hair, I knew you didn’t care and loved me anyway.
And you’ve been there when I was angry at the world or myself. You relaxed me with the methodical turning of your pages. You calmed me down with the smell of your pages and the freshness of your ink.
And you were there when I was experiencing how beautiful our world is as I traveled abroad. I found new stories in areas I had only some experience in, your crime stories, dystopias, stories of what would happen after the world ended. And I feel in love with you anew. I dove into you with a restored vigor.
And you were there when I realized that I wanted to make a career working with you. You cheered me on and told me that you knew that’s what I was going to do all along. You said working with you and your friends was what would make me the happiest because I was never so passionate as when I was talking about you.
And you continue to be here for me now, when I’m the saddest I’ve ever been. You open your covers to me when I need you the most to tell me that it won’t always be this way and that I will be happy again. You help me smile when I’d rather be doing anything but. You empathize and hold me in your pages when I feel completely alone. You remind me that I haven’t failed and must keep trying so that one day I can work somewhere that puts you together like you’ve helped put me back together so many times.
You’ve always been there to make me laugh when I couldn’t, cry when I needed to, shelter me when a storm raged in my life, or give me advice when I was lost.
You have always been there for me, so now let me help you. Though I’ve always done this in some capacity, I want to share you. I’m going to tell as many people as I can how much I love you. I am going to try to get more people to read the brilliant stories you’ve shared with me, because if even one more person reads one of them, I’ve honored you. I hope they’ll love you as I do.
Thank you, books. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I know you will continue to be my most constant and faithful friend for the rest of my life because I will never leave you and you won’t leave me.
My love letter was inspired in part by Matt Haig’s “A Love Letter to Books”.