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The Boston Globe

Books

By The Book

Let us now praise libraries, librarians

Fridays after school, especially when the weather was lousy, Mom would take me to the library. She’d let me check out whatever I wanted, and I checked out a lot. Some of my choices were predictable ones like Stephen King or Beverly Cleary or Charles Schulz. But other Fridays I checked out writers I doubt more than three souls in the whole county had heard of: writers like Italo Calvino or Tadeusz Borowski or Chinua Achebe. Often their books were too weird for me, and I’d only manage to stagger through their landscapes for a few pages.

But sometimes I fell in love.

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