Thursday, April 13, 2017

Books and Libraries

The Saskatchewan government, having bankrupt the province, as all right-wing governments seek to do in their jurisdictions, have released a mean-spirited budget designed to inflict as much misery on the citizens of the province as possible.  One of the many cuts to services for people is to Saskatchewan's public libraries. They have also cut funding to education. Attacking anything that smacks of education seems to be a thing with right-wing governments.  Their whole budget looked like a cheap copy of Trump's. And these (expletive deleted) have another three years to go before the next election.  The British parliamentary systems has its advantages and disadvantages.

Books have always been important to me since I learned to read.  My mother said I drove her crazy with questions until I learned to read.  Then I could find my own answers or find other things to learn about. Our one room country school got a box of books from the school board office once a month, which I usually devoured withing the first week. The local Five and Dime store had cheap hardboard covered books for kids and young people.  But even at $0.79, purchases were limited. (And the original version of The Three Musketeers turned out to be FAR more interesting than the watered down kids version).

Book of the Month supplied me with hundreds of books as well as keeping me up to date on what was being written and by whom. When I went to bookstores, it was usually to the mark-down section, where no-longer-new releases were affordable.  My library slowly accumulated.  Books were never discarded or sold. When I decided to move to Ukraine, I had about 1500 volumes on my selves.  Not many compared to real bibliophiles but quite a few nevertheless.  Leaving them behind was no easy choice.

Some I packed and shipped.  The kids sorted through them and took what they wanted.  Graeme got most of my history books, especially those related to the World Wars. The rest went to a charity book sale, I think.  I didn't want to know.

Now it is ebooks. I have purchased a few real books since moving to Ukraine but they have to be sent to my daughter's, who then has to include them in a care package to be shipped to me.  A nuisance to her.  Ebooks I can buy and download immediately, though it may take months before I read them.  I have an ereader but prefer my phone, even though the screen is much smaller. And I still prefer real books, especially history books with maps and end notes, which I can easily flip back and forth to as needed.

We have three shelving units filled with real books.  Half are Tanya's and half are mine.  She is also an avid reader and can order real books on-line. There is something about a library filled with real books that is far more satisfying than hundreds of ebooks on an ereader.  Possibly pride?

This makes me want to cry

8 comments:

  1. I love books. We have moved so often that I have systematical had to weed through them. the first thing I did when we moved into this house was build three book cases. Both my wife and i are avid readers - we have a great library in town and can get any book we desire through the inter-library loan program; but we still buy books. I have some books that I value that I have had for for more than forty years. I still don't do electronic books. I often like to write thoughts in the margins of books.
    So many books, so little time.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Old books are old friends. I, too, would need several lifetimes to read the books I want to read. And they keep writing new ones all the time.

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  2. My old auntie lives in a small town near Regina. She and some fellow townspeople just set up their own little library and got it going -- now they're faced with these library cuts. She's broken-hearted and angry. My sister, who lives in Regina, is apoplectic with rage every time Brad Wall's name gets mentioned. They are, of course, NDPers.

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    1. When all the places that are hurt by the budget are looked at, it is hard to know where to start fighting other than for a new budget entirely.

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  3. I much prefer reading a real book than reading words on a screen, although I have never tried reading a book on a kindle or whatever they are called. I used to have loads of books, but got rid of the ones I didn't need when I moved. And now I rarely buy books, I prefer to go to our local library. And I have my fingers crossed that the library keeps being funded, I would hate to have library cuts here. My grandchildren go to the library every week and love reading, I am so happy about that.

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    1. Our family used our local library a great deal. Me, not so much. I was always so far behind in my reading of books I had, that I could never read a library book in the time allotted.

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  4. I love books, too! We had an entire 16' wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves double-stacked with books in our place in Calgary. They went into many, many boxes which we'll undoubtedly regret having to schlep up the stairs in our new place. But we can't get rid of them - I cull my collection regularly so the ones that remain are old friends. Old, old friends, in some cases - a few from the 1920s, and all the subsequent decades. When I get to the point where I have to permanently downsize, I won't want to know what happens to them, either.

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    1. Your library is the subject of my envy. I would even help you haul the boxes up the stairs to their new home if I could. So glad you didn't have to leave any behind. Permanent downsizing is something I dread, though I guess moving to Ukraine was just that. Except we have been up-sizing ever since - books, tools, etc.

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