If children no longer read books, or become distracted by electronic devices, who will remember the masters whose words led us to this place? Whose written words stirred our imaginations and came to life when spoken or read and poured incandescent thoughts into the empty hollows of our mind and filled our emotive oceans with the tears of our humanity. How will we reach the stars without Archemides, or understand what we see without Aristotle, Plato, or Socrates? How will our sons and daughters learn to cope with reality without a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or find their way around the earth itself when Atlas Shrugs or Olympus falls into the sea? Will they thank Ayn Rand or Aldus Huxley for giving us a plan for A Brave New World? Will they see a Metamorphis as Kafka where their parents no longer recognize them or follow an obsession and be dragged down by some whale named Moby Dick, or will they shun Melville and look to Orwell for answers beyond 1984 and end up on some Animal Farm and Waiting For Godot? And what about love? Will they ever know what it is without the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, or Edith Wharton? No, I dare say they may forget these names as many others lost to this century, Henry James, Lord Byron, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest sleuth would be lucky to find them now. In some old brick building that once housed paperbacks and leatherbound books on rows and rows of dust cladden shelves. Will they recall the final words gasped by great men whose biographies hold fast to the memory of a once great life, or bid a Farwell to Arms like Hemmingway before he reached The Snows of Killiminjaro? I think not unless Fitzgerald’s words haunted them: a life lived in fear is only half lived. Albeit, a life without books is not a life at all. Read, my children and live!


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