It's a bit thick with historical antidotes, but what has become clear to me is that the library as we know it is a very ancient tradition, as is book burning. Leaders, both secular and religious, have always found it necessary to burn books, a clear affirmation that knowledge is power. No culture in history that had writing was immune to its destruction.
|Ancient Books with Lead Pages|
|A carbonized scroll from Herculaneum.|
However, when I was a kid--a kid of working class roots in a working class town--I felt unworthy of the library, what it represented and what it housed. I was afraid to check out books and often looked at them longingly on the shelves during our library time, but didn't bring them home. There seemed to be a huge risk required to take-on books, because books required intelligence, and I clearly lacked that. We had very few books in our house growing up--an antique cookbook, a few Golden books, ones I made from folded paper--but the main reading material was the newspaper.
|Yes, I owned The Pokey Little Puppy.|
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