No. 767



This past year our local public school district honored our Conway Bookcase Project with special recognition and a plaque. As the chairman, I was invited to attend the annual graduation and to say a few brief words. I am not used to holding my comments to one or two minutes, but with almost 600 graduates and parents who came to see their child walk across the stage to get their diploma, I would have been shot if I had gone any longer. For the sake of brevity I told those in attendance about two other graduates. Following the ceremony one said to the other, “Thank God it’s over. I will never open another book as long as I live.” The sad thing about this statement is that he probably didn’t, but he was the loser.
In more than 40 years of trying to help people succeed, the one constant for those who make it over the long haul is that they are readers. Reading good books makes all the difference in the world. We are blessed here in our community to have a fantastic library, and Ruth Voss, our county librarian, has invited our bookcase project committee to hold our annual Bookcase Awards Ceremony at our library, which will accommodate up to 1,000 people. Most every community has a library of some kind. Many are small, but nevertheless are a valuable asset in the lives of many of its citizens.
I did not get turned on to books until later in life, and I regret that, because I am the loser. When you open your mind and read, it makes you think, and according to the late Henry Ford, thinking is the hardest work there is. This is probably the reason so few do it. If you are a thinker and have visited your local library in the past few weeks, I believe you will enjoy a series of library quotations someone sent me a while back. To get the most from these quotations you will have to think and may even have to go back and read them again.
“I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.” -- Groucho Marx. “I had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.” -- Rodney Dangerfield. “Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic, as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.” -- Lady Bird Johnson.
“A good book is the best of friends.” -- English Proverb. “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” -- Mark Twain. “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.” -- Descartes.
“Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container.” -- Unknown.
“Never judge a book by its movie.” -- J W Eagan. “An original idea, that can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.” Unknown. “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” -- Francis Bacon. “To those with ears to hear, libraries are really very noisy places. On their shelves we hear the captured voices of the centuries-old conversation that makes up our civilization.” -- Timothy Healy.
“Reading is thinking with someone else’s head instead of one’s own.” -- Unknown. “Library: a place where people lower their voices and raise their minds.” -- Richard Armour. “Nobody graduated from a library. Nobody graduated without one.” -- Debbi Healy.
Here is a final thought from me. Fill your mind with only the best and the results will be obvious.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)