Fraser Valley Regional Libraries are set to re-open on Aug. 4th after many months of having their doors shuttered due to COVID-19.
I know they were operating on a pick-up/drop-off model for a little while, but the meditative art of aisle perusing was lost in those matter-of-fact transactions.
This is not a column urging you to flock to your local branch and frolic through the heavenly hub that generously offers up every educational resource one could ever dream of accessing.
No, this is not a rally to join its various clubs, access its growing arsenal of items, or to truly marvel at how lucky we are to have such a communal service.
I think we all know that by now, right?
No, this week’s ramblings are all about books.
I missed flipping through books, pursuing back covers and finding treasures tucked away in dusty corners. There’s something unexplainable wonderful – tangible – about it.
However, I was listening to a radio show while driving the other day and had to hit the breaks when I heard the announcer say that the average family buys only one book per year.
That single sentence took a while to process, with my frazzled brain concluding that either they weren’t including ebooks or that libraries must be more popular than I ever thought.
But, of course there are friends in my life who have proudly exclaimed that they have not read a single sentence since graduating high school.
There are kids I know who stick up their nose to un-illustrated pages and boot up the old video game console or Netflix account before glancing at the inside flap.
There are people I know who have spoken about libraries like they were some forgotten relic like cassette tapes and rotary phones.
Now, of course there are those folks who offset those stats by buying a stack of books every single Sunday.
And I know reading isn’t for everyone. I’d shake my fist at the columnist who demanded I watched more hockey because of dwindling numbers.
But if there is any truth to that one book a year claim, this is a call for us all to crack open some a publication or two and let our minds transcend.
What better time to read than the confusing, overwhelming, home staying era of the coronavirus pandemic?
It seems that being made to examine Lord of the Flies in Grade 11 really put people off of reading for life.
Maybe you did like to read, got busy, and forgot about how a good story used to make you feel?
There’s too many reasons – and options – not be be reading!
Cook books, celebrity biographies, world history, self-help, sports, mysteries, everything!
There is something for everyone!
You have COVID-fatigue? Tired of the virus or curious as can be? Bored?
Books set in exotic lands or distant eras may just about the only way we’ll be able to take a trip around the world this year.
So when the library branches open, lets keep our distance from each other, but lets also make those shelves empty.
There is no cure for COVID yet, but I say, the only cure for the COVID-blues is a good read.
Is there more to this story?