My answer was as follows: “It does not always work out. The Anguilla Rotary Club tried a used book project two years ago. We got about 30,000 books shipped for free from a Canadian school that was closing down. They were selected, sorted, and packed by the members of a Rotary Club there. When they arrived in
My correspondent shot back, “Don, this is very depressing. Russell wouldn't have done such a thing, would he? There are a few children here who really want to learn. Some of their families are quite poor and could never afford to have their own encyclopedia in their home, not even an old one. I come from a home that was filled with books. I did poorly in school, but educated myself about the things I wanted to know by reading books. I still do that today. I have very strong feelings about making books available to those few who want them.
There's a popular book here that's over 2000 years old and hardly anyone thinks it's out of date. This is insane. I hope you will write about it.”
Owning, reading, and handling used books are not, in my opinion, degrading or demeaning activities. I built up a collection of nearly 3,000 books on West Indian history that I later gave away. Some of the books were over 300 years old. How does anyone think you can get a “new” 300 year-old book? When I was a student, I used to haunt the second-hand book stores of Port-of-Spain. I visited the public library and bought every old book they were discarding that I wanted to read. Today, I still own thousands of books that were previously owned by someone else. I love second-hand books. I educated myself on second-hand classics.
But, the question is, does anyone in