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Books don’t blab, even out-of-date ones

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I love books. I grew up with them and I still have lots of them around. The dystopian novels I have read in which books are banned always leave me unnerved.

As a toddler, I had books read to me and I think I could probably “read” the favorites myself because I’d heard them enough to memorize the words. A bedtime story was a must. It still is. I always read for a little while propped up in bed before I even think about going to sleep.

I got lots of books as gifts for birthdays and Christmas and always had a list of titles I wanted to read. I still do.

I grew up with a set of encyclopedias on the bookshelf, so I didn’t have to go to the library to get information for a school paper, and sometimes I read them just for fun. There is a slightly more recent set of encyclopedias on a high shelf in my house although nobody has looked at them for years. While some of the historical and other data is still accurate, much of it is out of date.

Nobody wants old encyclopedias anymore and the only thing to do with them is throw them in the trash and that’s a terrible thing to do to old friends. I suppose I could stack them up and use them for a table, but we probably already have more tables than we need.

I have a big, fat dictionary and a thesaurus on my desk and cookbooks in the kitchen and I use them occasionally, although I admit that I generally go to Google to look up words and facts and recipes.

But Google is a gossip. The minute I open something, it tells all sorts of other sites about it and I get flooded with ads and information on that and related subjects.

When you open a book, it doesn’t blab about it. Books can keep secrets.


Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.

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