I read an article in the September 12, 2016 issue of the Los Angeles Times about a young South African street vendor who sells used books on a plastic sheet used as his sidewalk shop, on a bridge in a crime-ridden area of Johannesburg. He believes in books – their power to educate, entertain and to help create a better future. He seeks to alter the lives of his readers. He feels books are a bridge from curiosity to knowledge. With his home-made dolly, he searches thrift stores to find used books he thinks his customers would enjoy. A much requested book is the dictionary, but they are hard to find.
Some days he cannot set up shop because there was been an accident on the bridge, some crime, someone hurt or killed. But these incidents pass and he sets up shop again to sell his books. He believes in books.
I believe in books. I like the way they feel. I like the experience of going to the place where the books live. I believe in libraries, and they are not outdated. So often I hear someone say, “Why do we need libraries. We have the internet.” Books are an experience unlike anything you would get from a machine, no matter how smart it is. Libraries offer so much more than just books – they are meetings places where people can actually speak to each other, share ideas face to face. A world without the written word – without libraries would be sad indeed!!