Writing Wednesday: 10 Writers on the Importance of Libraries

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October is International School Library Month, an annual celebration whose connection to writing is obvious. After all, without libraries, how would people read your writing?

School libraries, especially, are important in encouraging a love of writing and appreciation for the written word from a young age. School librarians are often important role models in young people’s lives – the stories they tell and lessons they teach tend to stick with us.

So this month we encourage you to take a second to appreciate libraries as important societal institutions that are often taken for granted. Perhaps these writers will help inspire your own reflections…

Jorge Luis Borges

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

Walter Cronkite

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”

Neil Gaiman

“[D]on’t ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologise to this author for buying books secondhand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read…”

Ray Bradbury

“I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”

Rita Mae Brown

“When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.”

Jane Austen (in Pride and Prejudice)

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

Sidney Sheldon

“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.”

Maya Angelou

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

T.S. Eliot

“The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.”

Isaac Asimov

“I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.”

How has your local library impacted your love of writing?


About Paperblanks: 25 years ago, we created Paperblanks to help keep book heritage alive and vital in our modern age, and to offer an inspiring space for people to express themselves. Thanks for joining us on this journey! For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.

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