Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
It's been said of Dallas, "We don't have to burn books. We just don't buy them."
Thing One and Thing Two showed up at the Dallas City Council this week to plead (in verse, of course) for better funding of the public library system, which which is statistically the worst in Texas. Video embedded in the linked article.
They were followed by a number of other citizens aged 9 to 78 making impassioned speeches for both the library and the animal shelter. These speeches remind us that the modern public library is more than just a source of books. It provides a wide variety of services to the populations most at need - a safe place for children's activities and learning after school, social connections for seniors, classes for literacy and ESL and basic computer skills, and a means for the unemployed to apply for jobs, which now requires computer and internet access.
I am lucky indeed to live in a city, unlike Dallas, where the public library is well funded, well run, and heavily used by the citizens.