The Unused Novel

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The Unused Novel

We all have them sitting on our shelves, often used once or maybe not at all, doomed to remain untouched for years to come.  They sit there, immobile, collecting dust and yellowing with age. The typical novel is a testament to boredom after its use, representative of a life without action or purpose if its true potential is not acknowledged. Although the novel has a great amount of worth when it is being read, no one ever acknowledges what happens afterwards. The novel is closed, set on a bookshelf, and often collects dust for years. Even if it is read more than once, the novel is sitting on a shelf far more than it is being read. Yes, the message of the author may live on, but what happens to the physical book?

Imagine a life in which a person was confined to one area, wanting to do something more but unable to find a way to satisfy this desire. When a person is bored, a similar phenomenon takes place. He or she wants a purpose or something to do, but is unable to satisfy themselves in achieving that goal. An unused novel leads a similar existence. Sitting on a shelf, unread, it has no purpose.  Without the novel being utilized, the novel has no way to further its own purpose due to its lack of mobility and inanimate nature. If one could personify the unused novel, the novel would have a dreadful existence of boredom, an existence that is unavoidable and inescapable.  As it sits collecting dust, there are no stimuli to excite it, no reader to keep it company, and no way to let others know of its own contents and potential. Without a reader to peer into its pages, it lives a life of boredom.

When looking at a person who is chronically bored, one can observe the far-away, passionless look in their eyes.  Sometimes the frustration of boredom ages a person, and sometimes the same outcome applies to unused novels.  The pages turn yellow, the binding becomes fragile and brittle, and a coat of dust replaces the outside covers. A person who is bored has the potential for engaging in more stimulating activity, but has trouble accessing this potential in order to occupy his or her time. Moreover, a novel has potential for making an impact with its pages of narrative and information, yet can’t access this potential unless someone opens it and turns the pages. Even the college textbook, though used more frequently for a semester, will “live” most of its existence without ever being touched again, put into storage or sold off to sit in a warehouse until a new edition is released, making the textbook obsolete. A life of boredom, in turn, is just as unsatisfying as a novel sitting on a bookshelf.

The typical unused novel is a full representation of the nature of boredom. The potential for action or activity is present, but it cannot be accessed. As it sits on the shelf, life passes it by in a fast, bustling pace, while it sits in the never-ending time spiral of boredom. In a similar way, life leaves a person in boredom behind until boredom can be escaped, allowing the individual to rejoin the vibrancy of societal activities. A life spent in boredom is not truly lived, and a novel sitting on a shelf is not truly with purpose. People must overcome boredom in order to live life to the fullest, just as people must read novels to enjoy the adventures within their pages. Books must be taken off of the dust-ridden shelves, opened, and read.  Only then will these unused novels overcome their own state of boredom and escape from a miserable, purposeless existence.

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