A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.

Henry Ward Beecher

A cold, snowy, winter day is a perfect excuse to sit by the fire and read. I can’t think of anything I would rather do. Thinking about books, I wonder if we appreciate what a gift libraries are? Imagine if there were none. What a deep void would be left in our lives. It’s the one place that all you need is a small plastic card, received at no cost to you, and millions of doors are opened. Are you looking for entertainment, learning, escape? It’s all there. Just walk in the door and you can be lost for hours.

The library was an important part of the little town were I grew up. My grandmother volunteered as a librarian and before I was old enough to read she took me to look at books. I can’t remember a time when my grandmother didn’t have a book next to her chair. When she found one she liked she would often donate a copy to the library, so others could enjoy it. 

I remember the summer I checked out, “Gone with the Wind” from the library. That afternoon I sat on the front steps, shaded from the afternoon sun, and began to read. I continued to read after dinner and late into the night after my grandparents went to bed. I never remember my grandmother telling me to stop reading and go to sleep. She understood how hard it could be to put down a good book. 

Many countries do not have public libraries. Is it a censorship issue? I really don’t know. It’s hard for me to imagine a civilized society without libraries available to everyone. I suppose it’s true that we don’t appreciate something until it’s gone. 

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