“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” – John Green, The Fault in Our Stars…..
One of the many heartbreaking things that have happened since the wildfire engulfed Fort Mac is the destruction of hundreds of books at the library where I work. Because we cannot guarantee that books that were checked out prior to the fire and subsequent evacuation are free from contaminants the decision was made to remove them from the library’s catalog. Public health is, of course, more important than books – books can be replaced. But as a reader, writer, and book lover it was difficult to learn of the decision and even harder to witness. Thankfully our marketing team did a stellar job of letting patrons know they could keep the books they checked out to add to their collections, if they deemed the books safe, or dispose of them as they see fit. This saved thousands of books from destruction and made my heart glad.
Books are, to me, a wide open door to the world and the universe. Through them I can travel anywhere, and learn many things. I can dive into a fantasy or mystery novel or learn the difficulties experienced by people stuck in a war zone, for example. I can soar to the moon or investigate the deepest seas. Books change me, hopefully for the good. And the experiences I have through a good book have a ripple effect for I cannot see the world quite the same again, nor relate in quite the same way with people I interact with. A well written book educates, entertains, and evokes emotion. Long after the last page has been read a book has reverberations that have lasting effects.