“There are people in these pages,” the shopkeeper said.
“People?” asked the little girl
“Yes,” said the old man. “They live their lives and nobody knows or cares unless you read them.”
“Then they become your friends.”
The friendless girl thought that sounded a good idea, so she became a bookstore regular, a dreamer curled in the window’s frame, browsing the lives of others while her own faded away.
“There are people in these pages,” said the old man to his new customer. And he held up a book with a picture of the girl on its cover.