Initially written during a writing sprint in a Writer’s Pen meeting


by Rosemary Gooding

I joined the local Book Club just about six months ago. It’s been a great way to get to know people in the neighbourhood. We’ve read “Small things like these” by Claire Keegan about the heartless treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies. “Devil’s Breath a murder mystery by Jill Johnson. Now we are reading “I know why the caged bird sings” about the abuse the author endured as a child. Being in the Book Club makes me read novels I’d never pick and I enjoy discussing them with members of the Club.
We are all of a certain age and seem to prefer reading the actual book rather than on a Kindle version.
I went to the library last week to get Maya Angelou’s “I know why the caged bird sings”. I said “Good Morning”, to the young woman behind the desk and I have to tell you she looked about eleven. She explained about the facility the libraries had to offer. You just have to click onto this named website and in two to three minutes the novel is downloaded onto your computer. It costs nothing as most works are digitilised now.
I tried it out and sure enough when I turned on my computer the book was uploaded. I rang my sister and told her about it and she was delighted.
I went to the library yesterday to have a wander around. It was so quiet but a pleasure to move slowly from shelf to shelf looking at the titles and front covers. In complete silence, I knew I could hear, as I had had a hearing test at the local pharmacy and was not quite ready for hearing aids.
Nobody was around and as I passed by Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”, I heard “Heathcliffe, Heathcliffe … “ even Kate Bush singing. Perhaps it was my head customizing itself? I moved from the ‘C’s’ to the ‘D’s’ and came across Charles Dickens, “Please, I want some more …” I remember that quote. What was happening was not just the old favourites but as I came to the ‘O’s’ “Where the Crawdads Sing”, Delia Owens novel, the famous line “Sometimes for prey to live, its predator must die”, reverberated in my head. I had had enough.
I decided on a cup of coffee and a croissant. Afterwards I returned to the
library desk and told the young woman about my strange experience.
Without judgement, she said, “Every book in the library whispers to those who listen”.

Rosemary Gooding
June 2024