Lets take some time for a book today!

Book time is my favorite time.  This is when I am already past the “startup” of a new novel and I find the time to just sit down and relax with it. I often go into an old bedroom in our house as it somehow seems more peaceful.   Book time might be just before going to bed or sometimes when I have nothing to do.  The world never seems more peaceful.  It feels like hiding in a cave. When I was a child, book time was when I would go to the library. I discovered libraries at an early age and it was like discovering paradise.
We have one of the nicest libraries in the world in Frederic.  The library head is named Chris and some of the librarians are Lori, Paul and Marlene.  They are all very helpful and customer service is never wanted for at the library. Each day they make pots of coffee for the patrons and they never forget to refill the pots.  Once or twice per week someone brings cookies or pastries to share. There are nice areas for just discussion or reading and they have children hours once per week.  On any given day, I can find Brian or Jerry or Ken there and have an interesting discussion about something going on in the world. There are book clubs and many other activities sponsored by the Frederic library.  Recently they bought a bunch of Kindles and you can check these out.  There are several classes that they offer for patrons on using the new technology and the little library in Frederic is truly a Cyber Library.    
The best thing about libraries though are that they are peaceful and quiet and full of all the ideas, fantasies, mysteries and great things of the world. I fell in love with books there. I probably love books more than anything in the world.  I love them not only because of what they represent, but because of where they can take you and what they can make you. When I was young, I was taught that knowledge was power and information was a precious resource. The balance of power has shifted now due to modern technology and the internet.  Perhaps today it is more important who you know than what you know. Nevertheless, I persist in my love of books, and knowledge and theory and ideas.  I am bothered however by one major shift in our culture.
We seem to live in a society that is more and more obsessed by sports.  It is a society where star athletes are heroes and computer geeks are nerds.  It is a society that places more value on baseball, football and basketball than on books and reading.  Perhaps foolishly, I dream of a society where towns have signs up for leading academic students , leading music majors, leading drama classes, leading art students and not just for the “Football champions of 03” or the “ Class AAA Baseball Champions of 2011.” I dream of a society where drama coaches, music coaches and art teachers are as highly paid as NCAA athletic coaches. I dream of a society where as many students show up to watch the debating matches and chess matches as show up for the basketball games.  I dream of a society where there is no such thing as nerds and geeks and where developing brain power is as sexy as developing muscle power.  
Do you read enough?  Do you value ideas as much as you value “who won the Super bowl?”  Would you pay as much for a beautiful work of art or a ticket to the symphony as you would for a ticket to an NBA playoff game or a Super bowl game?  Do you spend as much time reading as you do watching sports?  Do you concern yourself with politics and culture as much as you do with popular NASCAR and Hollywood celebrities?  Do your children?  Why not?  Do you think your life might be different if you valued ideas more? What might change? 

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