[ phil-o-bib-list ]
- A lover of books
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem—inspired by the word, philobiblist, where does it take me? Where does it take you?
Amar walked through the massive doors for what must have been the hundredth time that summer. They were twenty feet tall, wooden, with gold inlays set in intricate patterns throughout. Amar made a mental note to arrive earlier tomorrow to see how they opened them.
The place was crowded as always with local admirers, scholars, and foreign tourists, yet it was also serenely quiet. It was a library, after all.
Amar walked by a small group of tourists huddled together by the entrance and overheard their guide, speaking in a low whisper.
“Welcome to the New Library at Alexandria…
… Although we are in Cairo, the name is a homage to that fabled library. Just as the world has nicknamed this library’s founder Alexander The Great.”
Amar kept walking—he knew the stories already. A really wealthy man here in Egypt began collecting books twenty years ago, and then built this place to house them. They said he lived in the library somewhere, but Amar hadn’t found out where.
Amar followed the signs for “Fantasy,” which led him down several hallways and through other vast rooms all lined with books floor to ceiling. Amar was so immersed in wonder that he walked right into someone.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Amar said, looking up to the man.
“Not a problem, my boy,” said the man.
Amar couldn’t believe it. “Your him—Alexander The Great. The one who built this place.”
The man smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “Where are you heading, son?”
“The Fantasy Building.”
“Ah, yes. Very nice.” He looked over Amar’s shoulder, and Amar followed his eyes to the sign that pointed the way. “Well, I don’t know which way it is, but I’m sure you’ll find it.”
With that, Alexander The Great walked away, leaving Amar standing there stunned.
I wonder if the ending hit like I wanted it to? Was it clear that the man, Alexander The Great, couldn’t actually read? If not… that’s what I was going for! Lol.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Right? I thought that would be the perfect thread to weave into a story inspired by today’s word–philobiblist.
A man who has gained great wealth in his life yet holds this secret that he can’t read. He’s ashamed of the lack in his education. Instead of learning to read, he simply collects books to lend to the appearance that he’s someone who reads.
He takes it to the extreme by building this massive library, making him a legend in the literary community and the world.
The lengths we may go to hide our faults is a great theme to explore here. Also, a theme about idolizing “false gods.” Putting too much attention to trying to be like other people, instead of being ourselves. Lots of cool ideas to explore here!
What do you think of Philobilist?
Would you visit this library? No need to answer—who wouldn’t?
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did philobiblist or my story take you?
If you liked this story, you may enjoy my short story, Nature. There’s a lot of cool details of ancient locations in it.
Today’s word is from Oxford English Dictionary.
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