A reader lives a thousand years before he dies.
-George R.R. Martin
I went to the library a few days ago and I checked out a copy of all the Lloyd Alexander books that they had. That was twelve different books. That did not include the last of the Prydain series. That did not include ‘The Arkadians.’ That did not include ‘The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen.’
Now you are probably thinking: why did she do that? Or that she must really like that author.
I do really like his books, but there was another reason for my actions.
I want people to be able to read those books. I want another generation of children to discover those books, and become immersed in the world of Prydain. I want another generation to have the same adventures with Taran, Eilonwy, and Gurgi.
Checking out all of these books may seem rather counterproductive to having children read these books.
But, unfortunately it’s not.
Libraries are always getting new books. Eventually they are going to run out of room. They can only keep a certain amount of books. So, even while they are always getting new books, they always getting rid of the older books.
I learned that if a book is not checked out for a certain amount of time, the librarians have to get rid of it.
I have known this for some time, but it never really hit me until they got rid of one of my favorite books from the library that I go to.
Now, if someone wants to read that book they are going to have to request it from another library or buy it. And if someone does not know anything about this book they are going to be much less likely to request it from another library.
Most children will not even know what they are missing.
I checked out those library books to try to save them. I want people to be able to read those books.
I like to think that by saving these books I am doing something that will benefit others. I may never see how saving a book will help someone, I don’t even know that it will, but that is not going to stop me from trying to save books.
You can save books too.
Just go to your local library and check out some books. You never know, one of those books might have been one that was going to be removed just a few minutes later.
Older books and ones that have not been checked out recently tend to be more at risk.
You never know how one of these books may impact another person’s life. Just remember all the times that a book has done something that has changed your life in a positive way.
It may not have seemed like a very big deal at a time, but books that impact you in a positive way will stay with you forever even if you do not remember the story.
What you learned from books will stay with you forever.
Here I am not talking about the facts or the plot, or the characters. Those are things that are forgotten. Often it is difficult to remember a character’s name a few days or weeks after you finish reading it.
But what will stay with you is what impacted your life. The fact that anyone can be a hero if they only stand up. The fact that good will triumph over evil in the end. The fact that however hopeless the situation may seem there is still hope.
These are what stays with a person forever.
I want future generations to learn these things. I want a new generation of children growing up with this hope.
So that is why I am going to check out books that I want others to read. I am going to save books.
I don’t know what it will do, but I am going to do it.
I want children to grow up with that hope in their hearts.