March 7, 2008
I saw a fill-in piece on my local news recently about illiterate adults. These illiterate adults though were soon to be, or already were now literate. The first step to becoming literate when you're an adult is of course admitting it to yourself and coming to the realization you live in an alien world. The feel good part of the piece was the teachers and the look on the faces of the former illiterate after reading from a book for the camera. I would think it would be the equivalent of fighting off alcoholism and seeing the world with clear eyes after being in a fog for a long time.
In my imagining I would think like anything new you would want to use it a lot, so they would avail themselves to a library. When they opened those doors for the first time a new world, millions of new worlds will be theirs to devour through their newfound abilities. I get excited thinking about all the worlds available, and the wonders they will experience. I have been using libraries for my whole life of seven decades now and haven't even touched the surface so to speak.
I remember some books I read sixty years ago, some very clearly. I was an only child, I'm not complaining, and I read all the books in a series about a teenager in high school named Chip Hilton. To me he was a big brother I could learn from. I remember him fondly.
I always have a couple books I am reading and always will I suppose. They are friends that live a much more active life than I do now, but that's what they're supposed to do. They spark our imaginations and transport us to land we will never visit, do things we will never do, make us think of good or terrible things. Books can put our minds into overdrive or act as a sedative and calm us down and mellow us out, to borrow a phrase from the sixties, which you can read about also.
Books are cool, they are great, they are a gift and a companion through all our lives.