Thursday, October 3, 2013


“What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education.” ― Harold Howe

This quote ran through my mind when a friend took a job at a school with no library. At least no library in any form you would recognize. They had a media center, which is what our school library was called when I was a kid. It's just that the "media" at Horrell Hill Elementary School included, well, books. My friend taught briefly at a school that had no books in the library.


There were no books to speak of in the entire school. It sounded, to me, like a dystopian fantasy novel, but it was not that. It was just a middle school in South Carolina. A middle school based on iPads. Not even actual computers. iPads were the status quo.

Now, I love my Kindle. I like my iPad, but I don't read on it. I spend enough time with backlit screens as it is. I read on my Kindle some and I read paper books some. It's according to how I can get the book cheapest, whether I want to take notes, if I need to pass it on, etc... So, I am a-okay with utilizing ebooks. But... no paper books at all?


My love of learning was born from my love of books. Well before I could read, I liked books. I agreed to learn my alphabet if my big brother would let me have one of his old school books. I think my mom still has the book. It was an anthology of stories. I learned my alphabet in about ten minutes, as soon as he sealed the deal. Then I held my hand out for the book.

It was blue. It had a beat up cardboard cover. It felt like heaven in my hands.

If you want to know what I feel about education, look at my shelves. I feel like I am always giving away books, but the shelves still overflow. My kids know I will buy them books. I might say no to video games and sports equipment, but I'm a sucker for, "Mom, I really want the new Warriors novel."

A school without books?



  1. I am a mixed media artist whose primary media is... book pages. I love books. I have written poetry about the smell of books. I have stacks of them all over my home - not that I have read all of them completely through, but I can find you some awesome poetry if that's your thing, I can find you plays to read (and grab a monologue for practice.) I have numerous dictionaries and thesauruses for different purposes. Classics published long ago and now, again. Having no books in school? unbelievable. So glad to read you again. If you would ever like to check into my #31Days, I'm "Personal Endeavors 148"

  2. PS - I just noticed the May Sarton quote... I've visited her grave and own many of her books. She was a remarkable woman.....

    1. Oh, I love love love May. I read Journal of A Solitude a year or two ago and now I pick up a volume of her poems when I need a fix. She makes me happy and peaceful.


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