Today I want to talk about libraries! I know exactly how precious they can be and trust me when I say that no bookworm appreciates a library more than the one who hasn’t one available nearby. That’s the case of almost every Indian bookworm unless one lives in a very posh area with very posh people of reading nature or those who are lucky enough to be living near one that’s standing still.
The lack of libraries, of course, cannot be blamed on one thing but it does discourage a lot of people from reading and that’s what bothers me the most about this mess. There used to be some good libraries where I live but in literally half a decade almost all of them have died out. Those that are still in existence don’t really have anything that people would be enticed into reading. It’s the same Sidney Sheldon lot or the classics like Shakespeare or Jane Austen or worse, it’s journals! I appreciate them all but unless one’s really enchanted by the language and is ready to read something from those centuries, it’s not exactly a collection conducive to enticing readers, is it?
Also the fact that so many of the people really don’t see the point in reading books?!! I have heard people at my work place accepting the value of books and the knowledge/ fun that can be gained from them but the idea of actually picking up a book and reading it seems to be a bit far-fetched to them. I didn’t have a proper local library growing up, I either read books that I pestered my parents into buying or I used the school library. Now, those books were mostly Marathi but still, even then, the collection was scarce.
Such a lack of libraries and access to books makes for a expensive reading habit. No, seriously. I have had five libraries shut down in the last few years which were close to me and which had some chances of me getting awesome titles. They are dying out so quickly and so quietly and the result is that, people have to actually buy the expensive books they want to buy. Some people, with very pragmatic views, do give up on those and then, they slowly turn into non-readers.
I and many other readers, have had to save and buy the few books that we know we can afford just to read them. It’s a sad state of affairs and I just wish that there were more libraries in the country wherein the collection was vast and options for everyone. It’s just dream but a very wistful one, I suppose.
I used to dream of opening up a library and to lure more people to it, I would have a cafe. This was before I knew it was a already a concept very widely spread. I still wish I could provide something I wasn’t provided in my youth. A good stocked library with tons of options to choose from. A local library matters far more than I thought it would and I have been longing for one for years now.
This longing will never be fulfilled, I am afraid. For a country of such huge population and such huge number of readers, we are parched for some libraries that could quench the thirst of reading, I think. The culture of libraries needs to be a common thing in the country and everyone should have access to books but alas, such is not the case.
This has been a sad report on lack of libraries by me.
Till the next time.