No, it's not January but it has been a time of reflection for me. It was this week last year that I finally stepped into the unknown world of blogging. Since that time I've shared my vision for old books and getting them into the hands of eager young readers. I've grieved the loss of reading in our culture and the consequences. We have looked at the effects of electronics, not only spiritually but physiologically as relationships have become digital and our brains are being rewired.
So where do we stand? Has anything improved over the past year?
One of the greatest blessings of my life is sharing my collection of treasures with children in my community. This year I am serving 34 families, my largest number ever. That means each week dozens of children are coming into my library pouring over books, thrilled to find new friends. I've even heard whispers of a few desiring to share their books in this way when they grow up.
And speaking of libraries, God has opened the hearts of many more families across the country to open libraries of their own. Libraries have been opened in various forms in many states such as Georgia, Virginia, Washington, California, Colorado and many more. God cares about these books and the young minds they are feeding. Perhaps He has a library planned for your community...maybe in your own home.
In the culture at large, however, things look pretty bleak. Common Core threatens to strip any vestiges of beautiful language as they cram students' minds with utilitarian drivel. Public libraries are discarding many of the books that are deemed treasures among my patrons. Thankfully many of these end up in library discard sales to be snatched up by homeschool librarians. However, I was distressed to hear from a public librarian acquaintance of mine who says her library, because of some contractual agreement, is not allowed to sell their discards. They are required to trash them! Google searches have replaced print on paper and the ideas written on them. Most new books being published would have been better left as trees.
What is the answer? Is there hope?
As the old saying goes, just keep on keepin' on. Support private libraries in your area. Consider starting one of your own. No matter how seemingly small your collection, it will tremendously bless those in your community. If no private library is near you, educate your public librarians on the value of living books. Check out the remaining treasures on their shelves so they will stay in circulation. Start a book discussion club with your children's friends. Read to your children and build collections for them. Let them see you read for your own pleasure. Value words and the ideas they contain. And give God the glory as He uses children of words to be proclaimers of His Word.