About the children

“For the hundredth time I repeat, there are many questions that could be asked, but I ask you only one- about the children- because I believe it conveys fully and clearly what I am trying to tell you. Listen, even if we assume that every person must suffer because his suffering is necessary to pay for eternal harmony, still do tell me, for God’s sake, where the children come in. I can understand the concept of solidarity in sin and also solidarity in retribution. But how can there be solidarity in sin with small children? And if it is true that children share the responsibility for the sins committed by their fathers, then that concept must be true in some different world from the world I know, and it is quite beyond my grasp.”
-Ivan Karamazov, from Brothers Karamazov, Book 5, Chapter 4


This is my ode to Books – my longest love affair. As long as I can remember, I’ve carried a book with me. I am easily drained by people and books have been my way of taking a break from the outside world. Books have provided me comfort more times than I can count. It’s true that I’d rather be reading a book than doing just about anything else. I will even admit to absentmindedly bringing a book with me to a date, it’s become muscle-memory at this point. I’ve entered a career in which I’m surrounded by books, and by people who love to read and who will talk to me about stories. I work in libraries for other reasons, such as my belief that every citizen has a right to access information, and the public library is the place where those doors can be opened. As Elliot Shelkrot said, “Democracy depends on an informed population. And where can people get all the information they need? —At the Library.” But I digress, I’m not advocating for public libraries in this post, I’m singing the praises of books. I found a few quotes that sum it up well:

“It does not matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.” – Jo Walton, Among Others

 “Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.” – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

 “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

 (And from “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” a book that had a profound influence on a young Crystal:)

 “From that moment on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again.” – Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn