Libraries and books are undergoing rapid changes. The former are being downsized, some are even being closed; while the latter are predicted to go extinct in the future.
In such a light I thought it might be good to remind ourselves of the power of books, reading and libraries through these inspirational quotations:
“Read in the name of our Lord who created, who taught to write with the pen, who taught man what he knew not” — The Quran (Chapter 96)
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!” (1978)
“You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be – I had a mother who read to me.” — Strickland Gillilan
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” — Margaret Fuller
“Just the sight of the book takes away the sadness of the heart.” — Moroccan proverb
“The best conversation companion in our time are books.” — Abu al-Tayib Mutannabi
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”— G. K. Chesterton
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.” — Roald Dahl, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
“There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.”— May Ellen Chase
“Never judge a book by its movie.” — J. W. Eagan
“A book is the only orchard I have ever seen which can be put in one’s sleeve and the only park which accompanies a man as he goes. The book is the tongue of the dead and the voice of the living. He is an evening visitor who never sleeps until you sleep and never utters a word except what pleases you, never reveals a secret or abuses a deposit. He is the most faithful neighbour, just friend, obedient companion, submissive professor, expert and useful comrade with no desire to argue to or weary of his owner.” — Ibn al-Arabi, Muslim philosopher
“The book is the tongue of the dead and the voice of the living.” — Arabic saying
“Buy books, and write down knowledge, for weather is transitory, but knowledge is lasting.” — Arabic saying
A reminder of what libraries (local public and school) represent:
“Libraries are time portals. They can take us back into the past and into the future. They can take us to different worlds, worlds we wouldn’t know, people we wouldn’t understand.” — M.T. Anderson
“We’ve got lots of books to open lots of windows that will let you use your imaginations in lots of ways.” — James H. Billington (Librarian of Congress) at the opening of the Young Readers Center, 2009
“The best of my education has come from the public library… my tuition fee is a bus fare and once in a while, five cents a day for an overdue book. You don’t need to know very much to start with, if you know the way to the public library.” — Lesley Conger
“As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her.” — Erma Bombeck
“The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.” — Malcolm Forbes
I hope these quotations made you reflect about all that we have been given when it comes to our access to reading material and to value those who teach/support us in reading. And may we think about those who do not have the opportunities and privileges we have.
But more than this I hope you smiled a little, maybe laughed a little too, as reading these quotations made me do.