Fighting for the library

A response to an article in the NY Times, Saturday June 20th.

Ray Bradbury, perhaps best known for his novel, “Fahrenheit 45,” is still active in his fight for the printed word, at the age of 88 (!).

In the June 20th piece Bradbury decries: “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have money.”

Bradbury notes how he could not afford a formal education, as a young man during the Depression, so he turned to his local public library, which he frequented for three days a week for ten years.

If there were ever a good argument for the maintenance of public libraries, this is it.

Bradbury even wrote “Fahrenheit 451” at the University of California’s library.

While he does seem to be somewhat of an old curmudgeon, one cannot fault Bradbury for his staunch dedication to literacy. He calls the Internet a “big distraction”. His response to Yahoo!, who had inquired about selling one of his books on their site, was, “To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.” He went on to say of the Internet: “It’s meaningless; it’s not real.”

Bradbury still visits his local library, the Koreatown branch of the Los Angeles Public Library regularly.

I doubt he would approve of the Kindle or any other mechanism devised to rid the world of actual books.


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