In our short stories, our Wonnie bookmark appears among the pages of playful, introspective, adventure books, that we try to explore as well.

19 January 2024


Emma’s life was marked by books from the very beginning: her mother – who imagined an emancipated future for her daughter – decided to name her this way inspired by Jane Austen’s homonymous novel. During her teenage years, when she used to feel alone, she preferred reading rather than spending some time with her fellow mates. As an adult, she eventually became a librarian at the university, becoming a point of reference for all researchers.

Emma loved reaffirming her love for reading in many different ways, every day. She had hung a poster at her desk, with a ‘Reading can generate addiction’ writing: she always hoped that would cause debate, but unfortunately it happened very few times. Perhaps that was because she was literally obsessed with that! Talking about movies, for instance, was hard: she always believed that the literary version was better than the cinematic one. Was it easy to give her presents? No really! Despite her love for books, it was complicated to give her one, and if you were not able to choose the right one, she could look at you with disappointment. For these and for many other reasons, she used to spend a lot of time on her own, with the only pleasure of printed pages’ scent.

One day, Emma had to stay at work until late evening, to finish cataloging some volumes. When her work was done, she was left alone, the sun had gone down, and neon lights were hard to stand for her eyes. She was about to leave her office, already thinking about the novel she would have later read in the bathtub.
‘Another book? Please, stop!’
Emma gasped. Whose voice was that?
‘Who’s there?’ she asked.
She was pretty sure she was the only one left at work, but of course she could have got it wrong. She started looking cautiously around her, searching for something that could protect her. ‘Damn, I think the watchperson might be away by now…’ She took a book with a cover made of leather and metal, the most vaguely dangerous object around.
Emma looked over the very last series of shelves, but she couldn’t see anybody on the horizon: that voice sounded so real…However, at a certain moment she paid more attention, and noticed that one volume was spreading light.
‘What’s going on?’ She caught the book with all the courage she had, and immediately started searching for the origin of that heat. The page was indicated by a bizarre wooden bookmark, bear-shaped; its smile lit a specific sentence:
Nobody really likes loneliness. It is just that I can’t stand delusions. It was a novel by Murakami Haruki, Norwegian Wood. ‘It’s so weird’ the girl thought ‘it is worldwide famous, but I have never really read it’. She was tempted to grab it and put it in her bag, to start reading it on that same night. Then Emma reflected. She didn’t really know what was going on, but those words could not be accidental. Perhaps books offered an alternative to reality, but they could not be the only one for sure. They could not replace life.
Emma turned off the lights and took her phone to call Vittoria, a colleague she saw every day without ever really talking to, for many reasons.
‘Vittoria? Yeah, it’s me, Emma! No, I didn’t get wrong…I was just wondering if you were busy for dinner tonight’
Emma closed the library’s door behind her. Haruki’s novel was left on the table.

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Born in Biella in the foothills of the ltalian Alps, WONNIE is a ski-loving white bear. Because he is from the snow­covered Alps, he is vulnerable to hot weather, and despite his size he has timid personality so he is always blushing. WONNIE is a gentle bear with heart of gold who easily find faults with himself even with small things but never blames others.

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