I found him nibbling on the classics. Somewhere near the end of Shakespeare, but not quite to Shelly. The words flew off the page as he inhaled, and swirled through the air into his expectant mouth. With even strokes, he chewed and the words snapped and crinkled in his mouth, as if he had chosen to snack on sun-dried twigs instead. His expression changed with every bite, a laugh, a smile, a grimace, a scowl—each took its turn and then quickly made way for the next. At first, I thought to call the librarian, hoping to spare a good book from getting lost in its reader instead of other way aroundThere was, however, no one else in sight, and I also balked at the idea of raising my voice in such a prestigious library. I thought to run, but could not tear my eyes from the singular sight.
Posts: 12 | Registered: Apr 2008
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At first,[<unnecessary transition clause, doesn't contribute much] I thought to call the librarian, hoping to spare a good book from getting lost in its reader instead of [the ]other way around[. ]There was, however, no one else in sight, and I also ["and" and "also" either/or would flow easier] balked at the idea of raising my voice in such a prestigious [consider //somber// or //solemn// or //sacred//] library. I thought to run, but could not tear my eyes from the singular sight.
Metafictive! Intriguing opening that hints this is a subjective first person narrative about a mysterious and interesting other focal character, in the form of a biography. The first person narrator's potential untrustworthiness, subject to interpretation, possible, likely plausible yet slanted misperceptions offers potent possibilities for resonance through readers questioning the narrator's reliable reporting.
[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited October 06, 2009).]
I think he's a djinn. I'd love to find out your real intent though. It's a good opening. The second paragraph could be stronger, more decisive, but the first is spot on.
Posts: 1992 | Registered: Jul 2009
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Not sure about 'even strokes' when you're talking about a bite. I don't like the use of 'singular'. Do you mean singular unique, or singular strange? Either way I'd use a different word.
I am in two minds about 'hoping to spare a good book from getting lost in its reader instead of other way around.' On the one hand, it's a nice little quip. On the other, your character seems to be a little panicked right now - would he be spouting quips at such a time?
Otherwise, I am interested and would read on - I like the concept .
Wonderfullly colorful, but I agree with Arriki - I wasn't sure whether the colorful description of the books' consumption was meant to be literal or figurative. Is he eating the books entirely, or sucking the words off the pages, or something else?
Posts: 406 | Registered: Mar 2007
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Literal and figurative meaning combined in one meaning, a magical dragon absorbs meaning from books by literally devouring the words. By what literal mechanism, I'm not sure, nor sure that it matters. The depiction gave me a vivid image of what was going on and engaged my interest on multiple levels. I'm pretty well engaged by the fantastical possibilities of an intellectually engaged, conscious, critically thinking magic dragon "reading" a book. I actually visualize it as wearing pince-nez eyeglasses, and there's not one iota mentioning eyeglasses.
Posts: 4370 | Registered: Jun 2008
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It's in the title, and what a title it is. Triple entendre, and an effective defusing device for my knee-jerk resistance to first-person narratives as well. By naming what the story's about, a bookwyrm. And then in the opening sentence, "I found him [the bookwyrm] nibbling on the classics." The autobiographical "I" that sets my uh-oh, watch out for author surrogate on point is entirely diffused because the story is not about the "I". The story's about the Bookwyrm.
Entendres Book worm, a parasitic insect associated with libraries Bookworm, an unusually studious reader, commonly associated with wearing eyeglasses because of eye strain from reading by "candlelight" Bookwyrm, I covered that above, wyrm, an archaic term for a wingless and legless dragon or very large snake
Also, I noted the subliminal "sis" sibilances' alliteration of the words classics and Shakespeare to Shelley, hissing sounds. Precious, my precious, parseltongue, Lord of the Rings and Potter.
[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited October 13, 2009).]