We’ve lost another giant. Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer extraordinaire, has passed away at the age of 91. But I’m not doing him justice. Even though sci-fi and futuristic writings were (and are) his hallmark, out of his pen flowed the heartwarming, semi-autobiographical Dandelion Wine, not to mention dramatic works, poetry, essays, television and movie scripts…
However, there is another side to the great writer that bibliophiles like myself appreciate most. For Ray Bradbury was one of us. (Anyone who has read Fahrenheit 451 knows this.) He was an outspoken advocate of reading and libraries, and often protested the budget-induced cutbacks and closings many faced. The best way I can think of to describe Mr. Bradbury’s stance is to let him speak for himself:
Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.
Teachers are to inspire. Librarians are to fulfill.
I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.
And one future Ray Bradbury wanted to prevent was one without books and the treasure-houses of libraries. Now the torch has been passed to us.
If you have not yet had the experience of reading a Bradbury novel or story, now is a good time to begin. Enjoy.
One more quote: If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder.
for reading gems to share with those you love.