He shuffled in his chair, sighing.

It was time.

Turning to the table next to him, he picked up his book and ran his fingers over the leather cover.

Three quarters of the pages were worn, discoloured by the oil of fingers and thumbs. The final quarter was still pristine white, untouched, the same as when they were printed.

He looked at them one last time; tempted to skip to the end but...knowing it wouldn't be right.

He walked over to the desk in the centre of the library.

There were only three others ahead of him.

He watched as they handed their books over: Angry, happy, resigned, each a different reaction to what they were doing.

It was his turn.

He handed over the book.

“I just want to return this.”

“Ah, very popular.” The librarian responded. “There's a waiting list for this one.”

“Yes, I can imagine.” He smiled.

The librarian looked at the discoloured pages.

“Oh, didn't quite get to the end?”

“It's funny, I always thought I'd have enough time to finish it.” He gave it one last look, “Ah well, someone else’s turn now.”

He turned and walked away.

The librarian looked at the book, running her fingers over the title inscribed into the leather cover.


She smiled and looked down the line.

“Who’s next?”

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