Books are so valuable, I don’t think people even really realize it. There was a time where certain books weren’t even allowed.￼ A long time ago, the church as well as the government used to determine what the people were allowed to have, in terms of education and resources of information. There was even a time that you weren’t allowed to own a Bible yourself!
As the world around us took shape throughout the centuries, different books and topics went through so many challenges. People had to abide by what the law said. Unfortunately, in a lot of ways it is still like this. There is the notion that we have more freedom now than we used to. I suppose it is true to some degree… But censorship is still a tremendous problem in terms of education, spirituality, and what people are allowed to know in terms of truth.
I have always valued books even in my past life times. As a little girl growing up in this day and age, we had a library right around the corner from us. It was actually only just one block away next to the playground, located inside the police station. I was always so alone and you know what?… If I had the opportunity to go back and do it all over again and I was forced to choose between having friends or those books… I would have chosen the books.
Books, even if fictional provide the mind with a great deal of exercise. But today, people have so much technology that they don’t read from books. They read from tablets, kindles, laptops, and cellular devices. And while it is a privilege to be able to access information at your fingertips, it is dangerous to rely on only technological devices for reading. It’s been proven that reading on a screen can hurt your eyes great deal, and the radiation coming from the devices as well, has been known to linked to cancer. I never felt the same amount of magic in reading from a device, as I did reading from the old pages of a book. As a small child, I breezed through 500 paged books. I learned how to read at age two with simple books. I was able to read a basic book by four or five. Afterwards, it didn’t matter what type of book it was, I was devouring it. ￼I used to absolutely love the smell of an old book.
By the time we moved to West Berlin, the library was just right there around the corner and I would go there every single day. I would read reference books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and any kind of fiction or nonfiction. I just wanted to learn. There was one time though, that I had committed a terrible crime. I’ll tell you about it, but I’m not proud of it at all.
Have you ever smelled the air and it just brought you back to a time in your life? The scent just somehow brought to life a flashback of a vivid memory? Well that’s what happened to me today. Smelling the chilly Autumn air outside reminded me of a day in the Fall when I was eight years old. I wanted so badly to read a new book, but I had devoured a lot of the ones that the librarian had already had. It was only a small public library afterall, most books had been donated by the community or by residents. New books were purchased through the local book fair. The librarian was responsible for ordering all of the new books that were popular and award-winning. She wasn’t always on time though. There were many times that I went in there and requested one of the books that I had seen advertised at school, but she had always said that she hadn’t gotten it yet. I would wait patiently, sometimes as long as a few months. My father worked very hard but was not a man with money. Sometimes he couldn’t even afford just to give me five dollars for a new book through the Scholastic book fair at school. I would sit at my desk while all the children’s orders came in. Honestly, I would say he let you read into a lot of those kids and saw that they would look through it once or twice and then it would get lost somewhere in their room. I wondered why me, out of all of the people in the classroom that actually honored books and wisdom, had to be the only child left out.￼ I was happy for them though. What a gift right? They never even realized the precious treasures that they held right there in their hands. Not to mention that they could have been a little more grateful considering their parents spent the money on it. One time one of the classmates name is Neil, had his book on his desk and just started taking a look at it and afterwards chucked it across the room at his friend. He had knocked the kid in the back of his head with it. Suddenly, a game of hot potato began. I just shook my head. What was the use of saying anything after all? But then again, sometimes hearing a few words of wisdom from someone, could help out a great deal. So I told Neil: “You know my father can never afford to even buy me one of these books, and every single time we have a book fair your parents are so generous so as to buy you a few. But yet you throw them around as if they’re meaningless.￼ it’s not out of respect for the book, at least don’t throw it to respect your parents in their hard earned money. Plus, somebody else might like that book if you don’t.”
At first, Neil sat there looking at me in disbelief. All of the other kids have been laughing, playing along, or cheering in the background. And here comes Alura, acting so old in her years chastising them. But you know what? He stopped playing that game very quickly and passed the book on over to me, and asked if I wanted to borrow it. I took it, and I thanked him. But of course his friend turned around and snickered to him: “She’s weird”. Nevertheless, book fair after book fair, there were notebooks in the order box for me. I had to resort to the library which I was absolutely much more thankful for any help. It got me out of the house, and the librarian while an old woman, became my friend.￼￼ ￼
The following school year had begun. They always had a new book fair a few weeks after school has started. For me, I knew already not to expect much of anything. I had already had my routine each week, riding my bike or taking a short walk around the corner, to the library for a good read. Even though the library and was a bit late with the new were books, I was still able to find great reads in the meantime. I remember hopping on my cute little beach bike with the yellow banana seat that my dad had gotten me at the swap meet, and throwing my small book bag over my shoulders.￼ I had already been home from school about two hours, having spent about an hour of that time jumping through the leaves in the streets. All of the neighbors had pushed their leaves together for the kids to have an enormous pile. I had always waited for all of the other kids to go inside before I went out to go jump in them.￼ are usually rode my bike after homework and an hour of outdoor time. Then I would stop at the library on Thursdays. It just so happened to be Thursday, and I had it in my mind to want to read a book especially about algebra.￼ don’t ask me why I choose algebra. We had already learned a bit about it in school and it wasn’t a subject I was fond of. I guess I wanted to excel in it little better because I wanted more than anything to continue receiving honor roll another year. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. I think the only thing my father ever expected of me was to get good grades and to maintain keeping my room clean…. Which lucky for him, I was a kid that loved both learning and cleaning LOL.￼￼
Riding on over to the library, the air was crisp and clean. Back then it was already chilly and the leaves were changing color by September. It was so very much unlike today where September sometime still carries a bit of warmth and the leaves are slow in transitioning. I enjoyed the rich blend of aromas coming from each and every tree. I was admiring also the colors and all of the berries of the dogwood trees that were common in my neighborhood. I was proud also to be riding that bike that my father bought me too. I had even gotten a burst of bravery and ran up on the curb to jump off of it like some of the kids in the neighborhood did with their BMX bikes LOL. I don’t know what got into me LOL.￼ I guess it was just a pure excitement of the end of summer in the beginning of the Autumn which brought the end of the angelic year. Although many people had no knowledge of that back then, I often celebrated it alone and here I was just very much excited overall of the start of it. I didn’t even need a bunch of festivities or activities to do, because I was even content with just the energy of it. When I finally got to the library, I parked my bike in the bike rack outside and walked up the steep set of brick stairs out front. When I got inside, I could smell the scent of the police department which was not at all pleasant whatsoever, because it smelled a little too overly sanitized. Nevertheless, making my way to the basement where the library was located, when I walked through the door I noticed that the librarian was not at her desk like she usually was. Instead she ￼was digging around in the back. I said hello, But she didn’t hear me because I was not really very low spoken. So I just went about my business of looking around in the algebra section until I would have another chance to say hi to her, when she was done. Finally she had come around from behind all of the sacks of books that she had been sorting. “Well hello there Ally, I hadn’t known that you were here. You always come in so quietly dear”. I told her that I had said hello but after realizing she couldn’t hear me, I didn’t want to yell in the library. So I told her I was just waiting for her to get finished before repeating my greeting. She said it would have been all right had a been a little loud after all there were no other people there. After expressing how happy she was to see me, she went on to tell me how lonely other day it was. She said that there hadn’t been a lot of people throughout the week. I thought she must be truly lonely in that type of job, having to work there in the basement at the police station without many visitors. I think I related a lot to her through the loneliness that we both experienced in life. She was a heavyset woman, with short hair and glasses, probably in her 40s. Her husband had passed away seven years before, she had never told me how he died, but I could see psychically that it had been through cirrhosis of the liver. I truly felt sorry for her because they had never had any children either. All that she had were a couple of pets that she treated like kids￼. I knew that she wanted children, and her selection and her job definitely showed that she was a woman that likes children a lot. So, I told her I would hang out for a little bit and we sat down at one of the little tables and talked about newer books that were getting ready to be released, of all different kinds. She had introduced me to a new author and then the telephone rang￼. As she took the car, eyebrows around for a few more minutes waiting for her as I intended on heading home after that but not without saying goodbye properly. That’s when I had come across this really strange book that I hadn’t seen at the library before then. It was a book about history one of the versions of the Bible but it was listed in the library as a reference book. That meant that it was only allowed to use there at the library as a back up resource while doing research or book reports and such. I held the book up to her as she knew I just loved anything on religious topics. I raised my eyebrows up in surprised delight almost as if to silently say: “Hey what about this book￼?”…
She knew exactly what that look on my face meant. She covered one end of the phone with her hand to be polite to the Kohler and whispered to me that I could not take that book and that it had to remain there in the library. I thought perhaps I could convince her and so I waited a little while until she got off the phone. I was flipping through the pages and just couldn’t believe the amount of knowledge and information in it. It even had references to scriptures from books that I hadn’t even heard of yet. When she hung up the phone I went over to her and pleaded for her to please let me take the book just freeze than one day so I could read it overnight and I promise I will bring it back the very next day. She apologize but told me that he just couldn’t allow it. It was the rules of the library. I swear I was so disappointed I think a tear trickled down my cheek.
I gathered my things together including the books that I did decide to take with me, that I was allowed to. One of them had been a book on algebra, another had been a Science book about ants. Lastly, I had added a book on the history of our own town.￼ after stamping the book with the little timestamp, she say goodbye to me with a warm smile and shot a quick glance over to the book that I had begged her to let me take. I believe that she intuitively knew what was going to happen next. After all, she had not put that book back in its proper location and instead left it on the shelf near the door.
The librarian returned back to the pile of books that she had been sorting before I had arrived that day, and I walked out the door but I couldn’t bring myself to continue on toward the exit. I stood there ￼only just a foot outside of it. I fought myself while thinking in my own mind:
“Should I do it?
“No…. Don’t do it Ally, it’s not right”.
“But I have to read that book”.
“No don’t do it you’re gonna feel bad about it￼￼ for sure”.
“But I’ll never get to fully read it if I don’t”.
End it was true that I would probably never get a chance to read the book from cover to end because my mother was very strict with me. In the summertime I could spend an hour or two at the library or park but only during the summer and that was probably the only time that I got to go outside or do anything beyond my own yard. In the fall, I was allowed to take an hour for the library but just once a week as I was pretty much confined for the rest of the week to the house￼. I am not upset about it and I don’t hold anything against my mother. I’m quite overprotective with my children although that not that extremely. I understand that she want anything to happen to me and she often sat inside watching soap operas and so she wasn’t really outdoors look after me in case something did happen. The only way to prevent anything would be to limit where I went or how long I would go there. Still though, how would I have been able to read that book? I have to read for 40 minutes every Thursday? For how long? It would take months! And I wanted to read it now, and read for however long I need to, usually when I could go on anymore. I would read from right after dinner until night time, until my eyes would get tired￼￼￼. But yet it wasn’t going to be possible with this particular book. I had always respected the librarian and her rules. I had always respected all people, and all rules! But this time I just couldn’t.
And so I took a few steps back, peeking my head back into the doorway. The librarian was still with the pile of books that she needed to sort out. She wasn’t even close to being done. Her back was turned toward me and I silently reached for the book where she had placed it, on the shelf near the door. Sliding it quietly off, I slipped it into my backpack while I walked off very quickly down the hallway, up the stairs, and out through the exit.￼ I kept looking behind me to see if she followed me out or not. I have never done such a thing before my life! I was so paranoid that I had even kept looking behind me while I was riding my bike home.
After I got home, I ran up the stairs to my bedroom without saying anything to my parents. I took the book out of my book bag, and slid it under the bed to hide it. I didn’t say anything to anyone about the book. In fact it took me a whole week to read it, needing to even bring back the other books that I had checked out legitimately, before I was even finished reading the book that I had stolen. When I took the other books back, the vibe was so weird. I swear she knew that I had taken that book. I mean she had to! Who else would’ve been so interested in a book like that, that they would steal it? And she was pretty on point about being organized, that woman like that would not misplace something easily.￼￼ I thought awful. I couldn’t even look her in the eyes. She never said a word about it though. But it did appear that our friendship was a little changed. After reading the book I did take it back. Again… I waited for another opportune moment to where she was busy with some thing and I slid it behind the same bookshelf that I had taken it from by the door. To make it look as if it had fallen there, I left it hanging out a little bit at the corner, so if she were to look down, she would see it. I did that first, and then went about my business looking for the other books that I wanted for that week in particular.
Later on,￼￼ when I return back to the library I had seen that she had put the book back on the reference rack. Our friendship return back to its normal state as I think maybe she thought I was never going to return the book at all and I had stolen it for good. I could say that I just borrowed the book, but I know that What I had done was considered stealing. It didn’t matter whether I had only just taken the book for a week or so. I had taken it without her permission and I had done so being very sneaky. I didn’t even know I had that ability to behave in such a manner. I was burdened with guilt for such a very long time.￼￼ ￼Years later before I moved out of that neighborhood and before the library itself closed down, I did go over to her and apologize. She didn’t say whether she knew if I had taken it or not, but she did give me a hug and told me that she would never forget me as I had been her only company for a very long time, while I had been growing up throughout the years￼.
The library had officially closed down by the time that I was 18 years old. I had my first child and was quite disappointed that I would not be able to maintain the same childhood routine of taking her to the library. I had wanted to take her just as I had gone although my mother herself had never really taken an active role in going to the library with me. It was something that I wanted to do special with my own children.￼ But that’s life. I still apologize every single day in my prayers even to this day, for having stolen that book. It was the one and only thing that I had ever stolen anything, and I promise you…, I felt so awful about it that it’s not something I would ever do again.
The beauty of reading
Back to the main idea of this article, reading is a beautiful thing. There are many people in this world that can’t read it all. We need to fix that. If you have any spare time and can offer to mentor anyone whether adult or a child who is illiterate, please do it. Give them the gift of learning. Reading from a book is magical thing. It was a real special event being able to go to the library. I even had my very own little special outfit that I wore on library day too. Yes, I know I’m extra! But I loved sitting there looking through all the different selections and just going for whatever I was in the mood for. I actually know a young woman who is intending on becoming an author. I read her blog often. Her name is Ena Whiteraven. I encourage her in her pursuits of becoming an author because I know that with having taught her so much myself, and her also having learned a lot on her own, that she will bless many people with her literary skills. Please check her blog out sometime.
The gift of reading from a book is special. Think about all of the trees that got cut down for those pages? There are words that imprint upon the mind and the subconscious mind, that will last you an entire lifetime. It makes you more of an eloquent speaker, and provides you with a great deal of imagination, as well as legitimate knowledge in things. If you read especially close to bedtime, whatever you take in, will be stored into the subconscious mind Morceau especially at the time, that you will be able to just some hell bring up the information randomly at times. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to have great conversation with others and suddenly have knowledge I got a topic that you thought you had forgotten about. Plus, your eyes can stay in good condition! But that’s not just the idea of it. How many people are confined to this brand new way called the indoor generation. I talked about this in my predictions as well as in my video on YouTube, but back then, no one really wanted to listen. But now they see that I wasn’t lying about anything. Hopefully, now people will listen to many more things that I provide in terms of predictions and insight. But the human race is quite stubborn.￼￼￼￼￼ The main idea of it is, that was the indoor generation, getting to travel on over to the library for a weekly or monthly outing, helps you to get out of the house and to keep a fresh clear mind. Being cooped up in the house too, much can keep you on a repetitive cycle and make life much like purgatory.￼
For parents, it’s actually a very nice outing to schedule some time in during the week, to go for some tea, hot chocolate or a latte at the library. You can sit with your children at the children section, and read a book. A lot of them actually have puppets that you can act out the scenes of the story. What’s even cooler is that other children there may join in and the social interaction of it could create new contacts or friends for you both. The mothers of those children could end up establishing a before with you to where you can call and schedule play dates. Of course you want to stay 6 feet apart for social distancing at the library, but it still opens of doorways to new possibilities to make life a little bit more enjoyable. The vivid illustrations on the books also are very good for children because color Color activates different parts of the brain that enhance intelligence, and motor skills. Plus introduces them to art. Not only does it do this for your children but for you as well as an adult. Going to the library and looking up different subjects really helps you to expand your consciousness. Life itself is the spiritual journey. It’s not just about yoga, crystals and such. It’s a life experience in the lessons that you learn from it.
So you see, books and reading aren’t such an old school activity. It’s still just as fun and the filling as it was years ago. Try to get out and head to the library once in a while. If you’re a parent come and take your children. You’ll see how much they love spending time with you. Even if you have to drag them out and willingly at first!
Even though I once stole a book and committed like a major serious crime here, I have to say that I learned a wonderful lesson. The lesson that I learned was that, number one, borrowing without someone’s knowledge definitely doesn’t equal out to borrowing. It’s definitely more in the category of swiping some thing. I also learned that just because you want something bad enough, doesn’t mean that it’s right to do it, if it steps over someone else’s boundaries. I’m really glad the librarian forgave me. ￼Had it not been due to the friendship and occasional tutoring of my friendly librarian, I probably would’ve been sitting at that library alone. Don’t forget that you too, can make friends with those that work at public places. Don’t allow the world just shut down. Having a kind and friendly conversation can open anyone up during these very difficult times. And if they don’t want to, then phooey on them! Some people just want to be left alone. If they’re rude about it, don’t let it eat away at you. Just needed something nice. Or tried to at least.￼ and that’s enough to stay with you all day long.￼
￼God bless you all! Parents get out there and get your children reading! And for everyone else, inspire anyone that you can, and keep on reading yourself.￼
5 thoughts on “By the day: Reading, it’s not an old school thing…”
Thank you so much for the encouragement.
Totally relatable. Only I couldn’t read that well. I just never did it at home, no one taught me. Hahaha. I like the atmosphere of a library, it’s the ultimate zen mind and focus space.
Reblogged this on The Arts and Animations of Tobias Sid John.
Reblogged this on Superlative Deviation and commented:
An important article and some inspiration and advice in A Life Of Virtue. My work even gets a mention! Thanks, Alura!