Books are little empathy machines

“Closing libraries is the equivalent of eating your seed corn to save a little money. They recently did a survey that showed that among poor white boys in England, 45% have reading difficulties and cannot read for pleasure. Which is a monstrous statistic, especially when you start thinking about it as a statistic that measures not just literacy but also as a measure of imagination and empathy because a book is a little empathy machine. It puts you inside somebody else’s head. You see out of the world through somebody else’s eyes. It’s very hard to hate people of a certain kind when you’ve just read a book by one of those people. So in that context, as far as I’m concerned, closing libraries is endangering the future. You know, at least with the libraries there, you’re in with a chance.”

Neil Gaiman, author on why closing libraries in the name of financial prerogatives is shortsighted, in “Neil Gaiman: Libraries Are Cultural ‘Seed Corn,’”
The Guardian, Nov. 17, 2014.

Blind date with a book

Check out one of our Blind Date books.  The books are wrapped so you can’t tell what book you’re getting (like a blind date) with clues on front as to what kind of book it is.  Check one out for Valentine’s Day – to entertain yourself on that Saturday in February, or to loan to your sweetheart.