Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Off She Goes Again
On vacation...to the land of forests and glaciers...see you in a couple of weeks!

This Hurts
The National Library of Iraq is in ruins. So are others all over the country. Hundreds of thousands of rare books were saved through the actions of library staff and religious leaders, but the regular collections have taken a devastating blow.

I have spent the largest part of my adult life working in and haunting libraries. I am in awe at the human mind's ability to create everything from trashy romances to literary masterpieces, to imagine everything from counting the stars to exploring the soul. Books have subverted dictatorships and spoken truth to power since the first philosopher put stylus to a wet tablet thousands of years ago. Where books live, there lives freedom.

If you don't believe me, read this. See what happens to women who defy their culture and their religion to read and discuss western literature. Understand why dictators fear the written word.

Know, in your bones and guts, why every time a library burns it is a catalysm for all of us.