Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I saw this article on my Washington Post news feed this morning. I was shocked, not so much because I didn't know that libraries purge because I have purchased purged books, but because the list of purged books essentially discards much of the literature educated people feel you need to read to be well read. The purging of "Great Books" makes those books unavailable for people who are not able to purchase.

What comes to mind is that scene in Richard Wright's autobiography, Black Boy, when Richard borrows a co-worker's library card so that he might satiate his hunger for books - "Great Books." This enlightenment would not have been possible if the shelves had been stuffed with popular fiction. I suppose libraries, like television, scarily reflect our tastes.

Take action!!!! Go to your local public library and check out some "Great Books" so the library won't discard them to make room for A Million Little Pieces.


Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

That is SO very scary! Our neighborhood branch librarians always thank us when we check out the classics, and had explained this very sad fact some time ago. Sadly, too few people read the classics anymore. There has got to be a corrolation between that fact and our lowering national intellegence, but I can't prove it!

zilla said...

What I'd like to do is take every Danielle Steele book off the shelves of my public library and, I don't know, maybe accidentally-on-purpose drop them into Lake Michigan? Ditto Nora Roberts. Sigh. I wonder if people in recovery are still finding "A Million Little Pieces" helpful in maintaining their paths of sobriety, despite its having been outed as "fictionalized."

We do need to preserve the classics, and it would be a shame to have them relegated to university libraries. I understand that due to security issues, John Q Public can't just walk into a major university library to check out a book anymore -- another fact that makes me sad.

mommy22ss said...

How very sad. We have problems at our library finding books all the time. It is very frustrating.