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11

You Need Emergency Books

This tweet warms my librarian heart. It's always a good idea to keep emergency books around. Hurricane season is upon us here in Texas, and I'm always careful to keep a supply of print books to enjoy if the power goes out for a few days.

(More seriously, I have expressed to my library director that, as a matter of collection development policy, it should be possible to rebuild human civilization from the print collection of any library. This saved some unread volumes from disposal.)


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eBooks are great - and you can't beat online lending from your local library (I just found out that I could borrow eBooks and audiobooks from my local library network last year).
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When I was 9, the books that I was allowed to borrow were such that I could read any of them in an hour or two. Only a few of the unedited "classics" like Twain took longer than that. I had to ride my bike several miles twice a week just to have enough to read during the summer.

I exhausted the libraries of my school, the local branch and the regional library before I entered high school, and had to order then from the main branch of the Chicago Public Library. Now in my 70's I still find time to read a book per day and though authors are more numerous and prolific, each year it gets harder to find new ones worth reading.

I would NEVER discourage a 9 year old, who loves reading so much that she thinks about what she'd do in an emergency, from taking as many books at a time as permitted by the library. The only dangers are that she may run out of books to borrow that she wants to read, or she'll learn to read a lot better than her peers. That second danger will give her a big boost as she progresses through school.

I WOULD get her a tablet and set her up with online access to a free lending collection ASAP.
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Actually, all humanity needs "emergency books" stored in Knowledge Arks in case of a calamity so devastating that it seriously disrupts, if not ends, our current civilization. Don't laugh, as it could happen: a repeat of the Carrington Event, a supervolcano eruption, a particularly virulent pandemic, an asteroid or comet impact, just to name a few.
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