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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Reading, Books, and Fearless Librarians

What is the point of reading, if you forget most of what you read?  It's OK to "Forget" Most of What You Read  says that "forgetting is not forgetting."       

I may not be able to recall most of what I read when asked on the spur of the moment, but much of what I read resurfaces when the occasion arises--in a conversation or when reading another book that references information I've read previously.  My subconscious background has been broadened--and maybe my understanding is more complete when an esoteric subject arises.

Even in fiction (especially if a book sends me to research an actual person or event) the information can be relevant in many other instances.  Novels that I can't even remember have led me to explore historical events, to reconsider social problems, to question my previous beliefs, to become more empathetic and understanding of certain situations.

I read a lot, and much of what I read is purely for entertainment. But even bad fiction can provide insight.  When I read nonfiction, I find myself more critically aware of what I read in fiction.  As a result, a novel I've all but forgotten may have influenced my reading in ways beyond conscious awareness, and nonfiction reading can help me appreciate the characters and events in various novels and to judge the accuracy of the history or setting.

I love this article about librarians on horseback.  

"The Pack Horse Library initiative was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), created to help lift America out of the Great Depression, during which, by 1933, unemployment had risen to 40 percent in Appalachia. Roving horseback libraries weren’t entirely new to Kentucky, but this initiative was an opportunity to boost both employment and literacy at the same time." (source)
There are more photos and information in the article.  Librarians are, indeed, amazing!  This was not an easy job, but these women could certainly be proud of the work they were doing.


  1. Great post, Jenclair! I may not remember all of the things I read, but like what you said the topics I've read will resurface when the occasion arises.

    That's an interesting article about the librarians on horseback.
    (Got your letter! :D)

    1. We may not reader the author or the title of a book, but we usually take away something, right?

  2. Love those horsebackriding librarians! Someone should write a story about them. :D

  3. I agree! A feisty, horsewoman delivering books sounds like a great protagonist!

  4. It's really true. I think we take something away from each book we read, even the ones I don't especially enjoy.

    Thank you for sharing the article about the horseback riding librarians. I just love history.