I grew up in a small northern New England farming community where most of the roads were dirt, there were more cows than people, and the school was a single room heated by a woodstove. Kids who were bad didn’t get detention; they had to stay after school and either chop stovelengths or sprinkle lime in the privies.
Of course there was no town library, but in the deserted Methodist parsonage about a quarter of a mile from the house where my brother David and I grew up, there was one room piled high with mouldering books, many of them the size of telephone directories. A good percentage of them were boys’ books of the sort our British cousins call “ripping yarns”. David and I were voracious readers, a habit we got from our mother, and we fell upon this trove like hungry men on a chicken dinner.
There was no library, but in the early Sixties, the library came to us. Once a month a lumbering green van pulled up in front of our tiny school. Written on the side in large gold letters was State of Maine Bookmobile. The driver-librarian was a hefty lady who liked kids almost as much as she liked books, and she was always willing to make a suggestion. One day, after I’d spent 20 minutes pulling books from the shelves in the section marked Young Readers and then replacing them again, she asked me what sort of book I was looking for.
Libraries provide all residents with unlimited access to the reading and information resources that will mean the difference between success and failure for Swampscott residents as individuals, Swampscott as a town, and the United States as a nation. They are supported by a very modest contribution of public tax funds, and provide a fabulous return on this investment by any measure. Sure, the library is an old fashioned concept. So is democracy. So is equal opportunity. So is getting your facts right.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”—Albert Einstein (via arreter)
Let’s talk Doctor Who. I’m not a big fan of Amy having a baby now because it pretty much means she won’t be back next season. For one, I don’t think there’ a need for baby on the Tardis stories. Second, it would be weird for the Doctor to help raise the girl he would later be romantically involved with.
“The prime function of the children’s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvelously through the tangles of his later years.”—Roald Dahl (via bookoasis)