Twilight was sitting in the middle of the library and observed the books. Nothing unusual was going on but she was frowning all the time.
"SPIKE!" she shouted.
Her assistant ran into the room as fast as he could. "What, uh, happened, Twilight, uh?" he asked panting.
"Just look at these shelves," she said angrily.
Spike was a bit confused. "What? Are you gonna reshelf them again or what?"
"No, Spike! The shelves are full of books!" Twilight was getting more and more angry. She could easily explain to Spike what was going on but instead, she expected him to guess.
"Um, yeah, I see. Books. In the library." Spike rolled his eyes.
"I mean that nearly nopony comes hire to borrow books! It's the only library in Ponyville. Do you know what it means!?" Twilight shouted while looking directly in Spike's eyes.
"Um, that earth ponies have problems with turning pages? You know, because of the hooves?" Spike answered without much hope for a good guess.
"What? No! It means that these ponies prefer to gossip, play outdoors and waste their times on other senseless activities than read a good book!" Twilight shouted louder with every sentence.
"Well, that means they do not like reading. That's all. You can't make ponies read books if they don't want to," Spike explained indifferently and left Twilight alone in the room.
"I can't make them read the books, you say? We'll see about that!" Twilight said to herself with a malicious grin on her face.
When Spike woke up early the next day. He already forgot about Twilight's hysteria from the day before. He was hungry and that was the only thing that counted.
"Where's Twilight?" he wondered when he saw her empty bed. "She usually isn't up at that time." He yawned. "And neither am I."
Spike went downstairs and saw Twilight entering the house. "Hiya, Twilight. Where have you been?" he asked curiously.
"Well, I will tell you later. It's some kind of mystery." Twilight giggled. Her bad mood was definitely gone.
"If it's not a bowl full of gems, then I don't really care," he said and went to the kitchen.
It was still the early morning when somepony knocked on the door. Twilight reacted as if she had expected that. She opened the door and greeted Caramel.
"Hi Caramel. What can I do for you?"
"Um, I want to borrow a book. Any book actually," he said uncertainly.
"Oh! I'm so glad you came! Please, come in! I will find something for you!" Twilight said happily and led Caramel to the library. "Let's see... What would suit you best? Do you like history books?"
"I'm sure you're gonna love History of Equestria philosophy!" Twilight exclaimed and passed him a book.
"But..." Caramel was not able to tell a word and even if he was, Twilight wouldn't listen she was far too excited.
"No, no, no, no! No need to thank me. This is my duty," Twilight's words were like a waterfall nopony could stop them. She led Caramel back to the door and waved him goodbye. Poor stallion sighed and went away.
Twilight started to jump in happiness. "It worked! It worked!"
"What exactly worked?" Spike asked. He was angry because the noise woke him up again (he had to take a nap after the early breakfast).
"Oh, Spike. Have you seen that? Caramel just came here and borrowed a book. And not just a romance or some adventure story. He took a book on philosophy! Isn't that great?" She grinned.
"Maybe, um, he wants to impress some mares? You know, some of them prefer smart colts," Spike suggested.
"Don't be silly, Spike. I'm sure that now we're gonna have lots of ponies visiting our library just because they like to read." Twilight was delighted. "Well, I'm gonna read some books now," she said and walked onto the balcony where she had left a pile of unread books.
Twilight enjoyed reading for a while until Spike shouted: "Twilight! Junebug wants to borrow a book on insects and wants your adivce!"
"I'm coming!" Twilight answered happily and went downstairs. "Hey, Junebug. I know which book will be just for you. Let me see... Oh, there it is! Spike!" She commanded her assistant who brought her the book. "Crickets in modern Equestria. Doesn't it sound great?"
"Actually," Junebug wanted to say something but Twilight put the book in her saddlebag. "Well... Crickets in modern Equestria. Sounds fun," she said sadly and went out.
"The second pony and it's only the morning!" she clapped her hooves and went back to reading.
Twilight opened her book again when Spike shouted: "Twilight! Rarity asked me to help her with taking out the trash. I'll be back in an hour. Or later!"
Twilight frowned and said coldly: "If she really needs you, go Romeo."
Spike ran out of the house without even saying 'see you later'. It was not a long time until somepony knocked on the door again so that Twilight had to interrupt her reading again. It was Thunderlane.
"Hiya, Twilight. Gimme some book. I'm kinda busy and I want to get this over with," he said angrily.
"Of course!" Twilight replied and brought him the first book she found. "'History of Pony Ballet'!"
"Whatever," he took the book and flew away. Twilight could get back to her reading again. But ponies did not want to let her enjoy the story she was reading. Suddenly, so many of them wanted to borrow a book, that they formed a line in front of the library door.
"You all want to borrow a book, huh?" she asked. Several ponies nodded. Some of them moaned and some of them were visibly angry. Twilight was surprised by ponies' urge to borrow books but in a way, she had expected that to happen. "Well, please, come in. All of you. I assure you that everypony will find something interesting!"
Twilight tried to help anypony she could but most ponies just took a book, reported the fact to Twilight and went away.
"Gosh, I didn't want so many of them! They're gonna ruin my beautiful and clean library!" Twilight started to panic. Indeed, the crowd was intense. Books were falling on the floor after earth ponies struggled to take some from shelves. Other ponies were accidentally trampling those books. "My books!" Twilight was crying. She went to the middle of the room and shouted: "Everypony, please leave this room now!"
But nopony listened.
"I repeat! Leave the room, now!"
Again, nopony reacted the way Twilight had wished for.
"GET OUTTA HERE!" she shouted finally. When she was done, awkward silence hung in the air.
Ponies started to leave the house. Damages were unimaginable. Some shelves were broken. Many books were in a really bad state. Some of them would never be repaired. And the floor was dirty.
"My gosh, what have I done?" she cried.
Twilight sobbed for a while and then began to clean the mess. After an hour Spike came back.
"What happened here? Twilight? Did I miss on some epic pony war!?" he asked.
"It indeed was, as you put this, epic" soft female voice was heard by Twilight and Spike.
"Princess Celestia!" Twilight exclaimed and bowed deeply. "W-what brings you here?" she was shivering.
"This," Celestia answered shortly and showed Twilight a piece of paper. "Please, read that."
Some unidentified voices left Twilight's throat. Celestia raised her eyebrow and then gave the paper to Spike.
Spike cleared his throat and started reading: "Your beloved ruler of Equestria, Princess Celestia has imposed a new edict. From now on, every earth pony, unicorn and pegasus is obliged to read at least one book a fortnight. Those who dare not obey the new law shall be severely punished." Spike's jaw dropped.
Twilight laughed nervously. "That's great edict, Princes..." Twilight shut her mouth after she had been given another reproachful look from Celestia.
"You have disappointed me, Twilight Sparkle," she said coldly.
"I just wanted to make ponies read books!" Twilight cried. "I'm sorry I made the edict up! It was for greater good!"
"I understand that. Therefore your punishment will not be as severe as it could be," Celestia responded. She didn't express much emotion.
"What would it be?" Spike interjected.
"She would be banished from Equestria," Celestia said and quickly added: "That is the traditional law. It is not me being cruel. I just want to ensure that nopony will even try to make up new laws."
"I didn't know..." Twilight moaned.
"I know that, Twilight. Your punishment won't be cruel but still, I am quite sure you will regret your actions. Firstly, you will personally gather all the books from the ponies that felt forced to borrow them." Celestia said. Twilight brightened up. The punishment didn't look that cruel.
The Princess cast a spell and a big book appeared in front of Twilight. "And secondly, you are going to read this book," she added.
Twilight looked at the cover and she got terrified. The title of the book was '1000 Years Alone on the Moon'.
"It is Princess Luna's autobiography." Celestia smiled. " And you are going to write an elaborated summary of that. I know it might be a very harsh punishment but it's not your first offense," she added and disappeared in a magical explosion.
"That's funny. She appeared without us noticing but disappeared with a boom," Spike remarked.
Twilight was gazing blankly at the book.
"Twilight? Are you all right?" Spike asked worriedly.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" Twilight shouted.