Join the library

Published 11:36 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Among the top things I believe a sound community should have is a public library. I might even place it at the top of the list, but I’m sure folks would want water and electricity first before books. Actually, it is easier to read lots of books when there’s plenty of light and a cool glass of water to drink.

I find libraries to be important for many reasons.

First and foremost, they are repositories of books. Yes, youngsters, books — those horrible things teachers make you open and leaf through at school. Oh, I understand; I love my iPhone and computer and would love a tablet or even a smart watch. I’m a bit of a techie.

But there’s nothing like a real live book in your hands.

“Live?” But, of course. There’s an undeniable physicality — weight, texture, even smell — to a book, new or used, that aids in the experience of reading a novel, biography or collection of poems. I’ve read plenty of books on my iPhone, and that’s great when I want to read something now and can’t find it any other way. But it’s a poor substitute for the binding, paper and ink from which the words float to transport me elsewhere.

For that’s what books do: they take you to another place, real or fictional. They teach, whether philosophy, science or even something about yourself.

Libraries contain these magical items. They also hold computers for those who can’t use one at home; DVDs and audio books, to transport you yet another way; and even copies of The Charlotte Gazette, to keep you up to date.

A library is both a refuge and repository of knowledge. For these reasons — but mostly books — I urge you to join any of the libraries here in Charlotte County.

I’ve picked out my first three books since moving to the area. Time to read!

Martin L. Cahn is the managing editor of The Charlotte Gazette. His email address is