Can libraries be taken out of the four walls of an educational institution? Can it find a place in the midst of communities, accessible not only for children but for all who seek better understanding, greater learning? Like these 5,000 books that traveled from the US to a tiny police station in Tamil Nadu, India.
You remember railway book stalls as being there since eternity. Being in the business of making arduous train journeys a pleasant affair in the company of books and newspapers. It’d be easy to assume a well-meaning civic body put them up. But as far as India goes, the country and its people owe their reading on trains to Emile Edouard Moreau, a European businessman.
Quotes on travel abound. And chances are you’ve read this some time: The world is a book and those who do not travel read only page. St. Augustine immortalized those words and now, AirBnB has literally taken it to heart. Always believed in the many worlds that exist between two ends of a book? Then, imagine a library. One that you run for a week. Or maybe two, too.
The presenter introduced Sergio Ramírez with all the formal flourish that the Spanish language provides for; a laudatory salute that seems unique to places where poets serve as public servants. The presenter mentioned the publications Ramírez has contributed to; the number of his essays, short stories, and novels; told of his political history and his creation of Nicaraguan publications and organizations of reform. The presenter was obviously very proud of having such an influential man in the room, and finally said, “I give you, author, poet, thinker, ex-president Sergio Ramírez!”
The man who has given talks at over forty academic institutions around the world (including Cornell University) took the podium. “Thank you for the very generous introduction,” he started. And what he said next illustrates the difference between poets and politicians. Continue reading