Letter To The Editor: Call For Dismantling Of ‘Take A Book, Leave A Book’ Locations After Recent Defiling Of Treasured Work

CHARLES FRANCIS
Los Alamos

I have always been a lover of literature. From a young age, I remember sitting on my grandpappy’s knee and listening to him as he regaled me with tales from the greats: Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Nabakov.

I was entranced by the summers we spent under the old oak in his backyard, reading the days away when I wasn’t learning the value of back breaking labor. He truly taught me many things, the most important of which being the value of a good library and the appreciation of the innumerable works they contained. 

In concept, the “Take a Book, Leave a Book” posts that I’ve seen stationed about town are a simple but effective means of instilling that same appreciation for the written word in today’s youth; but in execution, it is a monumental failure.

Why, last week, I placed a personal copy of The Cay by Theodore Taylor into the box of books, hoping to enrich the lucky soul who might stumble across the story of two unlikely friends learning to coexist in a time of crisis. But today, I returned to discover that it had been returned in less than stellar condition: the pages were dog-eared, the cover was warped, and some snot-nosed punk thought it would be really funny to write “Jason was here” on the first page. I don’t know who you are, Jason; but I wonder how you can sleep at night knowing you defiled a treasure of American literary history.   

For this reason, I demand for the dismantling of the “Take a Book, Leave a Book” system. Furthermore, I would also suggest advocating for a ban on this “Jason” fellow at the Mesa Public Library for the indefinite future; it might seem harsh, but it’s for everyone’s own good.

If action isn’t taken now, who knows what other legendary accounts might suffer under his neglect. This is not what my grandpappy would’ve wanted, and I will not rest until the books of this town are safe from the dire fate that awaits them if Jason decides to take another book, only to leave ruin in his wake.

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