CONFESSION…an open letter to those that say, “we need leaders, not readers”


An open letter to those that say,“we need leaders, not readers”

Psst…. Hey listen up. They say confession is good for the soul. Ok…here goes.

I’ve been cheating on my book. I know that sounds terrible. Oh, don’t look at me that way, like you haven’t done the same, or thought about it. I know, I know…like right now, I should be writing on my book, but I’m writing this to you. Sometimes…I just need to take a break…you know how it is…get out and see what other writers are writing about, find a little creative inspiration. I can’t say I won’t do it again. You see I’m a poly bibliophile. Right now I’m juggling 5 other books. I can’t help it; I’m a sucker for a hot book cover and a catchy title. Especially those tell-all autobiographies and historical novels! Oh, and I can’t leave out the inspiration and political books either. I’m weak. I admit it. I try to stay away from the ‘em but even the supermarkets carry them now!

It’s a little easier now that so many bookstores and libraries have closed. I guess those in the “know”, those folks who say we don’t need readers we need leaders”, are trying to keep the youth of America from this dangerous addiction of mine aka LOR syndrome. What is LOR you ask? Oh I’m sorry, thought you knew, it means Love Of Reading. There’s nothing like breathing in that musky smell of old books, newspapers and magazines in a used bookstore or the library archives. It’s enough to get you intoxicated. Unfortunately that’s a high that too many of our youth will never know as more and more small independent booksellers that have been open for years close down. Yes you never know what LOR might lead to…how about being a creative, critical thinker and innovator. Nope those in the “know” can’t have that, so they say… “Just Say No To Books!” Keep Books Out of the Hands of Children!” I hear some schools are doing a pretty good job of that. Why some even have a list of “banned” books. Imagine that. Imagine, short for imagination. One of the most powerful and dangerous acts to those in the “know” kind of folk, ‘cause we might just imagine and create a new future, a new possibility and way of being in the world that’s more balanced, equitable, sane and creative.

Well for me, Shh…don’t tell anybody, but I’ll be good for a week or so, then before you know it I’m sneaking into my local neighborhood bookstore for that art book on sale (there’s still a few local independent bookstores around you know, so please support them). There’s an old saying when one door closes another opens. With all these Kindles, Nooks and such just imagine how many books the youth can read; they’ll have LOR syndrome in no time. I for one certainly hope they do catch it. Imagine that!

 Written in homage to The Aquarian Bookstore, Midnight Special Bookstore, The Bodhi Tree Bookstore, The Gingko Tree Bookstore, Eso Won Bookstore, Marcus Books, An Acre of Books, Sisterhood Bookstore, and the Altadena Library.

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