I was sitting in my room on a hot summer day, tired from two weeks away from home, and school before that. My room was clean, which was unusual, but not unheard of. I sensed something wrong, though, in the setting. My eyes shifted over to my bookcase—err bookcases—the source of tears, pain (emotional and physical, due to the trouble I had putting them up) joy and laughter. My favorite authors' books were out of order. I kneeled on my bed, removed several of the thick, thousand page trilogies, quartets, and quintets. I put them back into order on my shelf.

I sat back and looked at the books by my favorite author, R. A. Salvatore. The Dark Elf Trilogy, The Icewind Dale Trilogy, The Legacy of the Drow, The Paths of Darkness, the empty spot for The Hunters Blades, The Cleric Quintet, The Promise of the Witch-King, Spearwielders Tale… I sighed, and ran my fingers over the spines of the books.

What a gift, I thought, to be able to write so vividly and well that you make me feel like I am with the characters through their trials and victories. To make me lose myself in the pages of a fantasy novel.

I stared at the newest addition to my collection—or was it like a dragon's hoard to me? I hardly let anyone borrow my precious books—the Paths of Darkness. I cried so hard at the end of that book. I was so sad for the character, Drizzt. All he wanted was peace from the dark nature of his kind, but instead he got… I swallowed hard. These books were so sad!

But then I thought of the reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Spearwielders Tale. I was laughing all night, and much of the next day at school. Even now it brings a smile to my face.

I brought my thoughts back to this earth, day and age. I looked upon these little rectangular objects with love. They took me places that technology, however fine, could never take me. For fewer than twenty dollars usually, I could escape to another world any time I wanted.

With a happy grin, I pulled the Icewind Dale Trilogy off the shelf. I opened it to a random page and began to read.

"The dissipating globe of darkness found Regis…"