The Librarian

She did not use to eat paper all the time. At eleven, she passed for a normal kid—shy/pallid/awkward like all the others. By nineteen, she had blossomed into a fresh-faced girl with too few secrets and too many dimples. Five years after, she found herself collections assistant at the National Library, and nine years later, head librarian. She did not even begin the habit then but only several months later. She had been looking for a particular novel to put on hold—Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby—when she came across a stack of unsorted books on the PS section’s bottom shelf. She had paused to pick it up and carry it back with her when a stray page from Gatsby flew from between its covers. Balancing the stack on her knees, she grabbed it and held it between her lips, leaving both hands free to struggle with the books. Back at her desk, she intended to return the wayward page to its proper place, but by then it had already vanished.

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