Today is Flash Fiction Friday, but it’s also the start of the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop, sponsored by Bookhounds.  So enjoy the story (900 words) and then enter the giveaway, which ends on 26th January. Which books are you dreaming about this year?

The Revenge of the Bookshelves

The clock ticks slowly in the corner of the room.  The only light is the shaded one on the desk, that shines on the book in front of me, and not in my face.  Beyond the pool of light, the library lies in shadow.  There is nothing to see in that darkness; I know books fill the shelves that line the four walls of the room, with gaps on one side where the curtains drape the windows, and a door at one end.  Everywhere else is books.  I feel their presence in the darkness.  Thousands of them.  In solid, intractable, uncompromising darkness.

All mine.

I have not read them all, of course.  I inherited most of them from my uncle, who had inherited most of his collection from his grandfather.  Some of them are ancient.  The dustiest ones, the ones kept on the most inaccessible shelves.  They have cotton bindings and pages with frayed edges where they were cut by hand.  I looked at the titles, once, twice, many times.  Most are in a foreign language, possibly Italian.  My uncle alleged they were writings from the settlement of Venice, when they drained the farmland and made the lagoon so that Venice sat out there on the island all on its own.  I did not know whether to believe this, but the titles indicate they are part of a series.

On another stack, the titles are in Greek.  I cannot even make out the words, since they use Greek letters.  Those are old, too.  My uncle said they are books on magic and need to be kept safe.  Somehow I think this unlikely. Why would magic be written in Greek?

My uncle’s books are more interesting.  One of his collections is the entire stud book of the Thoroughbred Racing Society for the 1880s.  Names, breeding lists, pedigrees, all in large, leather-bound tomes with gold lettering on them.  Here you can trace sires back to the Darley Arabian, or the Godolphin Arabian, or the Byerley Turk.  The three sires of all Thoroughbred horses in the whole world.  I sometimes wonder if I could find racehorses today and trace them back to their great many-great grandsires in these books.  I never have, though.  The books stay on their shelves and are dusted regularly, but rarely taken down.

The volume sitting on my reading desk today is The History of Time.  It is a only a few months old, a companion volume to a world-wide best-seller in the 1980s that hardly anyone actually read.  I am determined to read it.  Well, I dream of reading it, I rarely actually get as far as picking out the books I am determined to read.

Why is this book was on my reading desk?  I am sure I have not selected it.  I intend to start on Dreams, Mysticism and Magic of the 21st Century, but I seem to have mislaid it.  Strange, since I am sure I put it on my New Books shelf.

The clock in the corner strikes nine.  Just time for a few chapters before bed.  I normally read until ten, then make my cocoa and take it up to bed.  My bedroom is above the library, which gives me a comforting feeling, that I sleep on top of all that learning.

I do not remember going upstairs to bed, or making my cocoa, but I am certainly awake in my bed when I realise I hear movement downstairs.  Creaking and groaning.  The musty smell of the books is stronger than usual, and I wonder if I should check the automated humidity controller.  Then I hear a strange slapping noise, and eventually identify it as that peculiar sound that books make if they fall on the floor and flap shut again.  It starts, then stops after about ten instances.  Then it repeats.  After a dozen of these instances I can hear them more clearly, almost counting the pages in the riffle as the books open before they flap shut again.

The third step at the top of the stairs creaks, as it does when someone steps on it.

I try to raise myself up to ask who is there, but my blankets are pinning me down.  The creak of the stair repeats, and so does the riffling of the pages and the flap of the books shutting.

Then my door opens.

A flood of books floats into the room, lifting my bed from the floor and floating it away.  I grip the covers tight as we ride the waves, spewing out of the window in a whitewater torrent.  Horses gallop in the waves alongside the bed, teeth snapping above my head, wild eyes peering at mine, galloping onwards through narrow canals and gloriously pink and orange buildings in a frosty air.

But the buildings turn in on themselves, opening their pages, revealing lines and lines of handprinted instructions and diagrams, woodcuts of strange machines for moving water.  The world has become entirely made up of books, and I cannot escape them as they approach to consume my bed….

Time stands still.  Books of the past, books of the future, all here in one place, simultaneously.

I am lost.

The clock in the corner strikes midnight.

I am a bookshelf in my uncle’s library.  Trapped in the history of time and the magic of the 21st Century.  There is no escape.  The Darley Arabian tells me so.

© 2016 J M Pett

Now enter the Giveaway!

One lucky winner of my giveaway will be able to choose two paperback books from those in the graphic, or one of their choice from the Book Depository value up to $15, sent to an address anywhere in the world!  Entries close 26th January 2016 (00.00 27th in New York).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop
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48 thoughts on “Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

  • 15 January, 2016 at 2:36 am

    im dreaming about the last star the third book in the 5th wave trilogy 😛 cant wait for it to come out. thank you for this chance

    • 15 January, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      That sounds like an interesting series

  • 15 January, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Just dreaming of lots of books, all for the reading!

    Not sure I like your story…the books strike back? I don’t want to start having nightmares about all the books in our bedroom! (Well done, though).

    • 15 January, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Funny how the stories write themselves once you start on them 😉

  • 15 January, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I was dreaming of THE WINDS OF WINTER by George RR Martin, but George has missed another publication date.

    • 15 January, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Ah, yes. My friend lives upstairs from his agent, but she doesn’t seem to be able to get any action, even by direct threat!

  • 15 January, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Soulless by TM Frazier and Deep Redemption by Tillie Cole

  • 15 January, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I can’t make up my mind, something steampunk.

    • 16 January, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Have you read Lindsay Buroker’s books? If not, check them out!

  • 15 January, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Can’t wait for The Raven King! Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  • 15 January, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson, this book has been postponed by the publisher and more than 1year is far too lo,g when a series is that captivating.
    i’m also terribly curious about her first venture in the suspense genree with wild man curse

    then some sequels in series i liked vision in siver and marked in the flesh by anne bishop


  • 15 January, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6) by Brandon Sanderson,because i want to keep reading the series!!!

  • 16 January, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I am dreaming of The Crown’s game, A Court of Mist and Fury, Ruined and too many other books.

  • 16 January, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I am dreaming about The Last Star, by Rick Yancey
    Rafflecopter username: Joana Bento

  • 16 January, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Just January and there are so many new books coming out this year. I have The Shadow Queen and This is Where It Ends on my TBR list.

    Judy Cox

  • 16 January, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, Map of Fates by Maggie Hall, and many others.

  • 17 January, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Growing Up With Manos The Hands of Fate by Jackey Raye Neyman Jones. I literally dreamed about this just last night.

  • 17 January, 2016 at 4:29 am

    too many to name

  • 17 January, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Built (Saints of Denver, #1) by Jay Crownover

  • 17 January, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I’m dreaming of the newest book by Sharon Bolton. Also Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger and so many others…

  • 17 January, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I am dreaming of The Dirt on Ninth Grave, by Darynda Jones,and The Border, by Robert McCammon.

  • 18 January, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    The Crown’s game

  • 18 January, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I’m dreaming of a lot of books this year but most immediately the book Finders Keepers by Stephen King.

  • 19 January, 2016 at 12:40 am

    NYPD Red 2 by James Patterson

  • 19 January, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh.

  • 19 January, 2016 at 9:18 am

    The Second Mango by Shira Glassman
    Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
    Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
    The Night Itself by Zoë Marriott
    Just to name some…

  • 19 January, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    The Devil’s Only Friend (John Cleaver, #4) by Dan Wells 🙂

  • 19 January, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I’m dreaming of The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin.

    • 19 January, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Along with millions of others, Judith. I hope your dreams come true this year!

  • 19 January, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I’m dreaming of reading a lot of new books this year!!

  • 21 January, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I’m dreaming of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, and more. ^^

    • 21 January, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Oh, I’ve been wanting to read the Raven cycle for ages. I must get started on them.

  • 21 January, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I’m dreaming of Throne of Glass #5 (no title released yet) by Sarah J Maas.

  • 22 January, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Too many books to list here, but I’d say Truthwitch, Passenger, Illuminae, Six of Crows, The Ruby Knight and The Sapphire Rose from The Elenium series and the Throne of Glass series 🙂

  • 22 January, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I want to read The Interview by Virginia Gray.

  • 23 January, 2016 at 12:01 am

    I’m dreaming about Heartless by Marissa Meyer!

  • 23 January, 2016 at 1:31 am

    I am looking forward to Dragonmark (Dark Hunter series) by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • 23 January, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I’d love to read The Talent Seekers and the Artemis Fowl from your bookshelves.

    • 24 January, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Excellent choice! Of course the rafflecopter will choose at random 🙂

  • 26 January, 2016 at 2:08 am

    I’m really excited for The Raven King, I adore the series.

  • 26 January, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    ” White Water Landings” and “Walk the Edge.”

  • 26 January, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I am dreaming of reading: Broken Things to Mend (Power of the Matchmaker) by Karey White,
    My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem & The Portable Veblen: A Novel by Elizabeth Mckensie

  • 27 January, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I’m dreaming of finally getting the chance to read Gone Girl!

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