Friday, April 29, 2022

The Reading List - by Sara Nisha Adams


Libraries change lives. The books we read, the people we meet, the physical space, the programs all create the magic, and community of the library. 

When indifferent library worker Aleisha finds a reading list inside of a returned book she not only changes her own life by reading the eight books, she begins to make a difference in the lives of some of the other library patrons as well. Most notable among these is recently widowed Mukesh Patel, who has yet to return the long-overdue book his wife last read The Time Traveler's Wife. Although Mukesh was never much of a reader, his late wife Naina was an avid reader and library user. Through the magic of books (and the library) Mukesh finds a new connection with his beloved granddaughter Priya. It turns out they both love Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Mukesh begins to think about everyone who is connected by the books they read.

One of the first things I learned in Library School were Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science. Although the rules were written almost a century ago, they remain quite relevant:
  • Books are for use
  • Every reader their book
  • Every book its reader
  • Save the time of the reader
  • A library is a growing organism 
Each of these laws is evident in this work about people connecting through books and libraries.

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