Thank you, Public Libraries!

I enjoy reading. I usually have at least two books in process–one for work and one for pleasure. I only wish I had more time to read all of the wonderful books out there!

Thankfully, I have borrowing access to three libraries in our town–the local public library, a college library, and a seminary library. Amongst the three I am in literary heaven. In addition to books, I am able to access a host of scholarly journals, films, and CDs.

When my daughter needed to find monologues for her college auditions, we were able to find what we needed at the college library, saving us both time and money. When I wanted to sample the sounds of some new musical artists, a quick trip the public library yielded some real gems, including a recording of the late David “Fathead” Newman’s The Blessing.

Nooks, Kindles, and tablets are amazing and make travel with books a breeze, but sometimes there is no substitute for holding a book in your hands. Reading for me is both a tactile and visual experience. Libraries make this experience possible without keeping a massive collection at home and without breaking the bank. Plus, there is just something delightful about strolling through the stacks surrounded by words.

Thank you, lending libraries for opening new worlds to so many people. You know the power of the word to shape lives and expand the universe. Instead of the frugal chariot, you are the mass transit system for the bibliophile.

PS: One of my favorite poems is this one from Emily Dickinson:

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

Photo by shutterhacks used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!