(A short story in honor of Jorge Luis Borges)

It is enough for everyone to know that he was called a Reader, belonged to the family of Readers, and was very fond of books. Reader was very ignorant. He only had a few books and knew the house where he lived and the street where he used to walk while reading.

One day the books in his house ran out and he was sad. So he decided to look for new books. Reader chose a direction and started walking. He walked until he lost track of time and space. He really went too far.

Then Reader came close to a mountain of books called the Library. He wanted to see the surrounding landscape and tried to climb. But he was unable to do this because the mountain always pushed him down. He was angry and frustrated, but he didn’t give up.

While thinking about how to reach the summit, Reader took a book and started reading. Soon he realized that reading made him climb the Library naturally. Then he read some more and went up more. When that book ended and he picked up another book and went up a little further.

Reading a book after the other Reader reached the peak of the mountain. Satisfied, he smiled and sighed at the view. Actually Reader was amazed at everything he could see now.

Reader saw that the world was very vast, that many other mountains of books existed far on the horizon. Mountains that could be explored, he thought. Then he saw his street and his home and he missed it. He decided to return to the comfort and safety of his home before further exploration.

Reader tried to get down, but realized he couldn’t do this. He tried to throw the books away to decrease the height of the Library. Impossible. That mountain of books was magical. Each book thrown away returned exactly to its place in the catalog.

Terrified, he tried to set a book on fire, but soon realized that the contents of the books can never be burned. After making several attempts to get down, Reader got tired. He got tired, wanted to reread a book and was surprised. He couldn’t do this anymore. Reader tried to reread another book, but soon realized that all the books around him were blank.

Then Reader looked at the foot of the library and saw a lake of paint that did not exist when it started to rise. He deduced – Reader had learned to deduce in one of the logic books that had taken him to the summit – that as he climbed up reading the ink had drained from the books he had read forming that new lake at the foot of the mountain.

All those books, so empty, made Reader sad. So he picked up a pen – he never left home without several pens – and started scribbling a story on a blank book. When he filled in all the pages of the volume, he threw it aside and picked up another to scribble a new story. But then Reader realized that something different had happened.

The book, filled and thrown at random, began to roll until it reached the ground and was completely out of the mountain of books he was on. Satisfied Reader was filling out one blank book after another until the entire library where he was was unraveling on the other mountain of new books that was born right next door.

Writing so much left Reader tired. He dragged himself home, exhausted, unable to reflect properly on what had changed in his life. When he arrived at the door of the house where he lived, Reader was satisfied. But his satisfaction soon became unsatisfactory. He was prevented from entering. His former relatives did not recognize him. Reader forced entry and was violently repelled.

Reader then discovered that he no longer belonged to the Readers’ family. He was heartbroken and started wandering the streets he didn’t know before. Then someone greeted him very familiarly, as if he had known him for a long time. Reader looked at the new caller suspiciously, but remembered seeing his picture in one of the books he had read when he climbed the mountain called the Library.

Through his new friend, the ex-Reader learned that when he came down from the mountain of books read, rewriting them, he had changed his life and name. Now he was someone different with another name. Reader now called himself New Writer and as such he belonged to the family of Writers.

New Writer asked where his home would be, and the friendly interlocutor told him that Writers do not need a home and are rarely able to live together with their families. It was also told that wWriters rarely meet with their colleagues and that when this happens, the meeting usually lasts a short time and becomes a confusion. A Writer always disagrees with everything that other members of his family have written, are writing or will write.

In addition to being homeless and rarely getting along, Writers were very busy characters. They were always climbing new Libraries to produce other new books that would be read by people in the reader’s family, who would certainly have the opportunity to rewrite all volumes in their own way. New Writer then proceeded to a mountain of books he had seen from the summit of the Library which he had originally climbed. He imagined that he had many variations of this same story to tell. If he told the same story in different ways several times, he would gain some distinction. And if he didn’t earn anything at least he would be doing what he likes.

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