our future depends on libraries


Note:  I had an incredible amount of problems formatting this poem.  Pretend that everywhere there is a hyphen, it is actually an indent.

A poem of Neil Gaiman quotes (and paraphrases)

our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do
books are the way we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us
– humanity has built on itself
– made knowledge incremental rather something to be relearned
– with tales that have long outlasted the cultures
everything changes when we read
literate people read fiction
fiction has two uses
– it’s a gateway drug to reading
– it forces you to learn new words
– raise literate children, teach them to read
– show them that reading is a pleasurable activity
– there is no such thing as a bad book for children
– books you do not like are routes to other books
– stop children from reading what they enjoy and
– you’ll convince them that reading is uncool and unpleasant
– anything that they enjoy reading will move them up
fiction builds empathy
– you get to feel things
– visit places and worlds
– you get to be someone else
– you learn that everyone else out there is a me,
– once you’ve visited other worlds
– you can never be entirely content with your world
– discontented people can modify and improve their world
– leave them better, leave them different
libraries are not just shelves of books
– libraries are information and information has enormous value
– all of human history there has been information scarcity
– having the needed information was always important
– now we have a gluttony of information
– libraries are places that people go for information
– books are only the tip of the information iceberg
– libraries provide internet access
– a library is a repository of information with equal access for all
– a community space, a place of safety, a haven from the world
– libraries really are the gates to the future
libraries are about freedom,
– freedom to read,
– freedom of ideas,
– freedom of communication
good librarians like books and like books being read.
– they have no snobbery about anything readable
– they talk about books, they help find books
– they treat all readers as deserving of respect and assistance
all of us – as readers, as writers, as citizens – have obligations
– read for pleasure for we show others that reading is a good thing
– support libraries, use libraries and encourage others to use them
– read aloud to children, do the voices and make it interesting
– do not stop reading to them once they learn to read to themselves
– use the language, find out what words mean and how to deploy them
– communicate clearly, say what we mean
– do not freeze language or pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered
– it is a living thing that flows, borrows and changes over time
the writer’s obligation
– write true things
– know that truth is not what happens, but what it tells about who we are
– for fiction is the lie that tells the truth
– do not bore our readers but make them need to turn the pages
– the best cure for a reluctant reader is a tale they cannot stop reading
– do not preach, lecture or force predigested morals down the reader’s throat
– never write anything we would not want to read our self
– acknowledge that we do important work
– for dull books that turn children away from reading lessens the future for all
we all have an obligation to day dream, to imagine
– it is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything
– that society is huge and the individual is less than nothing
– but the truth is, individuals change their world over and over
– individuals make the future by imagining that things can be different
– everything you see was, at some point, imagined
– all things exist because people imagined things
Albert Einstein understood the value of reading, of imagining:
– If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
– If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
we can give our children a world in which
they will read, be read to, imagine and understand
they are our future and
our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

One thought on “our future depends on libraries

  1. […]  spent the  morning finishing up a quote poem and then wrestling with WordPress to get the format I wanted.  They won and I had to resort to […]


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