Get a Library Card and Open Up Your World
Unfortunately, in today’s digital world, many kids do not acquire the love of reading that will help them throughout their adult life. Teachers and parents should encourage children and take them to their local library and get them their own personalized library card. A library card is a virtual passport to other countries, worlds, and the unlimited potential of the human imagination.
The greatest writers in the world are all there in most public libraries, just waiting to be read and absorbed by a new generation of book lovers. The best library in San Francisco is the main branch of the public library and that will probably be the case in most major cities, with a few exceptions. Sometimes the best library is at your local university and you may have to be a student there in order to get a library card.
At any local branch you will find enough books to keep you busy reading for a lifetime. The best thing you can do is acquire the habit of reading every day. Personally I read somewhere between two to five books each month, sometimes more. Next to my bed is a huge stack of books. My personal preference is fiction but I read just about anything and especially true life adventure stories of survival.
One such great book that I took out of the library using my library card was “Skeletons on the Zahara” by Dean King. This amazing true life survival story is about Captain James Riley who shipwrecked near the western coast of Africa in the mid 19th century. The horror and brutality of what happens to him and his crew could not be put into a movie or television show. King shows us a world that no longer exists and does so with a masterful touch.
Great stories are everywhere and none greater than the Russian classic “Crime and Punishment” which is Fyodor Dostoevsky at his finest. The story of a man haunted by a random act of brutal violence that he commits is a universal story of mankind.
Go running right now to the library and use your library card to check out “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. This is the fantastical and allegorical story of a boy who survives a horrifying shipwreck only to find himself adrift in a lifeboat at sea. His only other companion: a Bengal tiger. Incredible and a must read.
If you want to learn something about war crimes and abuses of power you need to read “Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo” by Murat Kurnaz. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you cannot read this book without gasping in astonishment at the way this man was treated by our government.
You could spend days and days just walking around, taking down random books and getting lost in them. I always limit my time and use my library card to check out as many books as I can safely carry then take them to enjoy in the privacy of my own home.