Life Is Not A Book

In my younger days, as a schoolboy, I was enthusiastic about reading biographies and autobiographies of great and famous people. Here and there, when I had the opportunity to lay my hands on some of those books, I would hold it until I had read the last line, last word, last letter. I was barely making lunchbreaks and had very few hours of sleep at a time. I imagined that, one day, after collecting enough memories of my own, I would write my own biography. It was for that purpose, my father brought his old "Olympia" typewriter down from attic, cleaned the dust from it and put it in the centre of my desk.

And, suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, I was struck with disappointment. I realised that I didn`t even know how to write a book. Even in school, when we had a writing practice, I had a hard time writing a page or two. Besides that, I was only twelve and had not experienced enough in life to write about. That understanding put me in a very bad mood. I was thinking hard what to do. And, one night, a salutary thought woke me up, a thought that found its way out of my subconscious mind. The solution to my problem was quite simple: I would start to read all books I could find. And after enough books read I would be able to write one. Maybe not something first rate, but at least with few hundreds of pages.

I wanted to start immediatelly but we didn`t have enough books at home. Besides, I have already read all of them. So I needed to wait till morning and go to library. And so I did.

In the beginning my plan was to read only the autobiographies, but I realised that if I really wanted to widen my knowledge, I would have to start with different genres: historical studies, novels, satiric stories, psychology, philosophy, poetry, science fiction, filology…. A woman that worked in the library loaned me books in alphabetical order and she couldn`t hide her surprise for my eagerness for reading. When I finished with all the books from the nearest library I moved to another, then another, and another…. If someone could say that I was reading too much before, now nothing could separate me from my books. I was reading during lunch, while sitting, lying down, walking on the street, driving in bus. Even when taking a shower a book was opened on my washing mashine.

Now and then, I would look at father's old "Olympia", and wipe the dust from it occasionally. One day, with a great regret I discovered that many of the keys are not functioning and some mecahnical parts were stuck. I spent few minutes thinking over that problem, but the next minute I was reading again.

During this, my parents died, cousins and friends stopped visiting me a long ago. I earned a reputation as a weird man in my neighbourhood, someone who cannot be seen without book. Even kids on the street stopped making jokes about me because I didn`t noticed them.

Suddenly, when I was 74 I stopped. Just like that, in a half of a sentence, one thought passed through my mind. It was all nonsense. Because of reading, I hadn`t found time to do anything else in my life and in my autobiography I will have nothing to write about. While my generation travelled, enjoyed parties, getting married,made and educated their kids, earned money, expected grandchildren, pensions and a quiet old age, I was only reading, reading, reading…. For 62 years I was only reading!!! I lived off of the inheritance my parents left me and even that was nearly gone. I looked around my room: everywhere, piles of clothes, old and patched, dirty dishes in the kitchen, ants and mice feeding from the leftovers of my recent meals.

I sat by my desk, moved a few letters and cards, that people had sent me before I was twenty or thirty years old, to the side. I took a look at my father`s old "Olympia". It was under thick layer of dust, completely unusable. I opened a drawer and took out my grandfather`s "Luger", a trophy left from some ancient war.

Unlike the "Olympia", it worked pretty well.

This is a story I wrote in 1992.
I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Mik Furie who edited it "to make it flow more in english". Without his help you would have hard time reading it ๐Ÿ˜€

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104 Responses to Life Is Not A Book

  1. Dacotah says:

    Nice post. About Marel Proust I take sure are not 74 years old. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. PainterWoman says:

    A very good story Darko. I enjoyed it very much. It makes you think, and not want to spend your entire life looking down into the pages of a book, instead of out experiencing life.

  3. L2D2 says:

    Darko, it is a dark tale of a man who, instead of living his own life, read about living. Good moral to it. Ending was harsh but fitting. This was good.

  4. Dacotah says:

    Who is it about than?

  5. gdare says:

    Carol, it is not about Marcel Proust, this photo is from my bookshelf and I thought it would fit well here :)Originally posted by Dacotah:

    you sure are not 74 years old.

    Of course I am not, I am 40 ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Furie says:

    It wasn't that hard to read at all. Barely needed editing. And I really like the story. It's comforting. :happy:

  7. gdare says:

    Carol, this is just a fiction :DMik, thanks, I am glad you liked it; I never thought I would put it in public, though, I have several ones written just for myself :)Pam and Linda, a story is about man who wasted his life trying to make something out of it; but he failed completely; life is always more than one thing;"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. L2D2 says:

    Ah, I have no doubt about your ability to do that Dare.

  9. gdare says:

    Allan, thank you; I wanted it to be that way, not too dark to leave bad feeling after reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Dacotah says:


  11. gdare says:

    Linda, I will, probably, just need to translate them ๐Ÿ˜†

  12. ricewood says:

    Quite morbid, yet entertaining. A perfect mix of profoundness and satire.I like it a lot.

  13. Stardancer says:

    I like this.Good story, Darko.:up::smile:

  14. gdare says:

    :D:sst: with a little help from my friends :whistle:

  15. gdare says:

    Carol :)Star, thank you :happy:

  16. MizzMartinez says:

    Oh my…you really have some AWESOME writing skills. I'm impressed. :eyes: ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. L2D2 says:

    So, now, maybe you will publish more of your stories.

  18. Dacotah says:

    I figured it out. A story you wrote.

  19. MizzMartinez says:

    Oh my…I wish I could stay focused to do my writings. But I think that I'll write my biography based on my blog… :lol:According to what Tose Proeski sang when he was still alive, Life is a book –>

  20. gdare says:

    Thank you, MizzM. When I was young, an empty piece of paper was enough to make me write something.Now I need to start Word ๐Ÿ˜›

  21. L2D2 says:

    Hooray for Word or equivalent in open source, Write.

  22. gdare says:


  23. gdare says:

    I wasn`t his fan so I could not tell :DBut he had incredibly nice and powerful voice :up:

  24. intothedeep says:

    This is an awesome short story, Darko. I enjoyed it a lot! :happy: I'm sure when people enter the elderly years, there must be quite a few that look back with regret. For this gentleman, it was his obsession with books. Could be something different for someone else. Yeah, balance is key! :wink:Hope you publish more :up:

  25. qlue says:

    I liked it! :up:.I particularly liked the abrupt ending, it worked! :yes:.

  26. risis1977 says:

    Wow..amazing story..:up:i love it..:love:

  27. gdare says:

    Mags, thanks; I will publish more, in time :)Aadil, thanks; well, at least something worked :DRisis, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. gdare says:

    Originally posted by SqueakeyCat:

    Life is what you make it

    This was a general idea that made me write it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. SqueakeyCat says:

    I enjoyed reading it as well. There are too many people that think life is one big story. Its not. Life is what you make it, as your character found out in the end.:hat:

  30. SqueakeyCat says:


  31. qlue says:

    Hey! :irked:.:sst:. I told you that in confidence. :awww::p.

  32. qlue says:

    I must write my memoirs. :p.But it's not easy to decide what to put in print. :left:. The last thing I want is for the entire planet to know every excruciating detail of my life!! :insane:.(:sst:. There's some embarrassing moments I'd rather not share. :insane:.)

  33. Furie says:

    Like when he woke up chained to a transvestite. :devil:

  34. MizzMartinez says:

    What an experience that must have been! ๐Ÿ™‚ Why don't you tell more? ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. gdare says:

    Qlue, everyone of us has embarrassing moments, the ones that we would rather forget. No, mine doesn't include anything with transvestites ๐Ÿ˜† :left:Mik :lol:MizzM, it should be "quid pro quo"; it means you will have to tell some of yours embarrassing moments in return :devil:Graham, :oThank you. I don't dare to compare myself with real writers, I just feel I should write sometimes. Maybe this is probably one of the reasons I am here in MyOpera ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Suntana says:

    You're absolutely right, Darko. Life is NOT a book. That would sooo not be good. Well, maybe at one time life was a book. Nowadays, life is a Blog! ๐Ÿ˜† I guess in mine I to a certain loose extent have an autobiography going.You really had me going there. I really thought the story was about you … until I got to the "74" part. :insane: I was like, "Okay, so I guess I was sent on another Snipe Hunt … a Wild Goose Chase." ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I had been getting ready to say that you and I were complete opposites in that you had read every book there ever was and I … well, had done otherwise. :right: :whistle: You were freaking me out that you read in the shower and while walking down the street. :yikes: I don't know who Marcel Proust is. The only Marcel I know is Ross' monkey on the TV Show Friends. ๐Ÿ˜€

  37. MizzMartinez says:

    I always tell about my embarrising moments! :doh:

  38. gdare says:

    Carlos, at one moment I thought it would be confusing because I wrote it as it happened to me ๐Ÿ˜› Then, at the end it goes to "something completely different" :DMarcel Proust was French writer who lived in XIX-XX century. Here is a link if you want to know about him: ๐Ÿ˜† can you refresh my memory with something juicy? :devil:

  39. MizzMartinez says:

    Always… ๐Ÿ˜†

  40. gdare says:


  41. sanshan says:

    20 minutes of writing a day = 1 page1 year = 365 days1 year = 1 novel

  42. sanshan says:

    That's not the point. Just write if you want to. You can't worry about the outcome. It's the process, the journey that is more important. Gwasshopper…

  43. gdare says:

    Ah, it is not that easy. Otherwise, no one would read your books :left:

  44. gdare says:

    What about inspiration for writing?

  45. L2D2 says:

    I think she is correct Dare. Don't worry about grammar too much. Just write what is in your head to write. The editing always comes later. Published authors certainly don't turn in a finished, perfect copy of a book when they mail a manuscript to the publisher. I think you have a talent and should work at it.

  46. sanshan says:

    Just do it.

  47. L2D2 says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† :eyes: :confused:

  48. gdare says:

    San, you are "he"? :insane::lol:

  49. sanshan says:

    if you could only see my biceps…

  50. sanshan says:


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