I collect adventures. I see heroes complete their heroic deeds, and when they're done, they give them to me. The adventures become mine.
I put them on little shelves.
I collect thoughts. Bold thoughts. Rational as well as irrational. Worries and reassurances turn into ink, find a home on my shelves, and are admired.
I collect pain. Pain from wounds, illnesses, deaths, betrayals, and worse. Torture is tucked away, slotted alongside hatred and revenge.
I collect joy. I collect the brief smiles shared during warm sunsets. I collect the trust of friends. The brightness of a kind touch. Every sigh of relief finds a way into my collection--every tear from every overwhelmed eye wet the ink.
I collect people. I collect what really matters about us, all of us. The feelings, the actions, the passions and ambitions of men and women through the ages.
I collect worlds. Fiery mountains, peaceful plains and peoples. Lands blackened by war, planets shattered by gods, water covered utopias and empty, sand filled deserts line my shelves. In each world I find parts of my own.
They all sit safe and dry under my roof.
I collect stories. Stories of humans, elves, monsters both mechanical and conscious. Stories of villains and heroes, traitors and mediators. Hunters and their prey, weak men and their triumphs. I collect lives. I see myself in these strangers and learn from the magical, flawed, exciting things they see. We experience a world together, and when the last page turns, I set it on my shelf with all the other ones.
All my books. All my worlds and feelings and people.
All my many lives.