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My pages ache from constant flipping, my binding is ripping from constant use, but I know she loves me more than any other book. Every day she comes, picks me up, and neatly packs me in her backpack. She takes me out and flips through my taped pages. I watch her face burst with enjoyment, sorrow, and so many other expressions. A loud bell rings as I’m stuffed into her bag, I flop around surrounded by papers, pencils, and erasers. Then, a bright light shines down on me as her delicate fingers pull on the zipper. She neatly puts me back on her shelf and then I hear her mother call her name. Minutes later the girl soars into her room with something in her hand. She will pick me up now! She will read me! I think, until I see her sit on her bed, lifting back the cover of another book. A newer book. A book without tears or rips. And as she reads I watch contently, not jealous, but realizing that the girl had room in her heart for both of us. So she read, and read, and read, switching between us. As she grew older her collection expanded, more books to join me on the bookshelf. Even though I’m not the only one on her mind, I still know I’m her favorite, the one that’s been here all along.

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