DSTL Arts – a nonprofit arts mentorship organization that inspires, teaches, and hires emerging artists from underserved communities.
By Jeremy Arias
The six dollar book sat on a shelf. It stood there watching customers and readers and people trying to look cool and people taking pictures while it sat there. All it could do was watch and look pretty. Maybe it’s cover wasn’t all that great. Maybe it should have chosen a different shelf or different story.
Look your best, it thought. The better you look, the better your chances.
Every book wanted to sell. It was an honor for a book to be bought and paid for and signed and displayed on a shelf or rented at a library or recycled into a work of art. All the six dollar book wanted was a sale. What it got was a discount. It couldn’t sell, so it sold its soul and took a dollar off.
What irony this was. A six dollar book for the cost of five. Was it really that bad? Maybe it wasn’t the cover as much as it thought. Maybe it was what was inside that people didn’t want. Maybe the cover was fine. No. Maybe it was both. Maybe it just wasn’t good enough for anything. It couldn’t sell at it’s cover price so now a sticker dictated its worth.
Somewhere, it thought, there’s a vendor that couldn’t sell me. There’s a gang of customers looking to read that wouldn’t fork out six little bills or a handful of quarters or a sack of nickels and dimes and pennies and lint and change, does nobody read these days? Everyone’s looking down at their phones wasting time, watching videos and playing games and posting pictures, doing this and that, or talking to him and her and them but they don’t care about you.
Learn something! Pick up a book and read! The price was dropped and still there’s a vendor stooped and slumped over a counter who gave up trying to sell and is just watching people go by and stare. They talk and flip a couple pages and set it down. Why doesn’t anyone want to read it? Is there so much going on outside that you can’t escape your world for another? There’s plenty to do if you sit and give your mind a treat that will help it.
And then came a lonely customer who asked this and that. The vendor answered and haggled prices. The customer looked down at the phone in their palm and glanced around. When the vendor looked away, the customer dashed like lightning and took The Six Dollar Book in hand and ran off.
What an honor this was. After a long time of trying to sell, it was stolen. And it felt great.
The content displayed here is submitted by various local authors, artists, and more, and is curated by the DSTL Arts Art Block Zine–Youth Editorial Board. Works published here are done so with the permission of all artists involved. Artists hold all rights to their work, and none of it may be reproduced without their permission.