Because really, it's all too good to be true. And while I recognize that the library is not, in fact, free, that it is supported by our tax dollars and by donations and by library sales, it is, in fact, providing everyone in its vicinity with the opportunity to learn and to grow--and to read.
I'm not out to start a political diatribe, really, I'm not. I don't consider myself a particularly political person. But I do consider myself a fan of libraries, and of the opportunities they afford, and it is painful to watch them suffer, and to hurt, and to lose their financing, and to think that others cannot see how detrimental this is for our communities. Dickens himself, the great mastermind of fiction and advocate for justice, argued that the more a man learns,
"the better, gentler, kind man he must become. When he knows how much great minds have suffered for the truth in every age and time... he will become more tolerant of other men's beliefs in all matters, and will incline more leniently to their sentiments when they chance to differ from his own." (Dickens, as quoted in The Man Who Invented Christmas, by Les Standiford)Is it true? Perhaps. Perhaps it is an overstatement. Perhaps an exaggeration. But does reading open one's mind to new things, new ideas? Of course. And do libraries allow those who could not otherwise afford books an opportunity to read? Of course. Now, if only that were enough.