YOU DON'T HAVE TO BURN BOOKS
TO DESTROY A CULTURE.
JUST GET PEOPLE TO STOP READING THEM.
My husband and I like to spread our book money around. We order from Amazon. We order from an independent bookstore. And, the other day, I was in a big chain bookstore looking for a few titles in the Fiction section.
Two teenage boys were also searching for something - to no avail. Then Boy A asks Boy B, "Does M come before N?"
A pre-teen girl was sitting with her back to the magazines. Her fingers raced over the face of her phone. She was so focused, I thought she was going to topple off her seat.
I don't know the whole story in either of those scenes. Maybe Boy A struggles with a learning disability. Maybe the girl had been there for two hours and already read every magazine she cared about while she was waiting for a ride home.
But what if it really was that those kids didn't know or didn't care? About books, about stories, about reading itself? The thought makes me want to weep, not only as a writer but also as a reader, as someone who knows the joy and the entertainment and the knowledge that exists on pages and, yes, even on screens. I can't help but worry and wonder if those kids and maybe many, many others are going to miss out on it.
If you're off work today - and even if you're not - let's all pick up a book, a story, something and read, read, read!