Books never fail to empower, transform - Albuquerque Journal

Books never fail to empower, transform

On one of the recent Fridays that passed, I stepped out when the sun decorated the skies with all of its splendor and beauty, and took a trip down Cornell Drive to send some items through the United States Post Office in Albuquerque to the third-largest city in Ohio, Cincinnati. As I maneuvered my way through the numerous hoodlums in the hood, and looked in wonderment at the well-designed layout and aesthetically structured buildings, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of a bookstore that got me enthralled by the scenery and atmospheric vitamins therein.

My fascination with books immobilizes me any time I see them, especially in large quantities. I was carrying loads of clothes, so I hurriedly went to complete my transaction at the post office and walked straight back to the bookstore. I decided to stop by and make some selections that will give me the best value for the few dollars I have to spend.

I lingered for a while as I rummaged through the thousands of books to make my careful selections. The bookstore is manned by a … woman who gave her name as Laura. From every indication, Laura is a diligent woman who is young at heart – judging from the energy with which she was organizing books and the dexterity with which she arranged them.

I struck (up) a conversation with her, and realized that, behind the elderly-looking woman is an activist who is very passionate about her community and books. She told me the shop has been in existence more than 50 years, and pulled me aside to see the beautiful design created to commemorate almost six decades of providing a platform that seeks to change attitudes and internal feelings in the community. Sure, that is what books do. They provide education.

Books in that bookstore have always been sold for far less (than) their (retail) price. Also, they have a great collection of used books that go for a dollar or less, sometimes even for free. The woman was also fascinated by my passion for books because I kept telling her the value of each book I saw there. I told her when the book was released, its author and attempted to summarize it for her. And that aroused in her a great interest, which led her to ask why I have all this information about books. I recounted to her the great number of years I spent in shaping my community through literary activism. I told her about Success Book Club, the most active book club in Ghana, formed with the vision of eradicating illiteracy completely and giving the youth a platform to uplift and develop themselves through reading.

In her time, she said, reading was taken up religiously by the youth. After a great conversation with Laura, I left the book shop with about five books, including Bill Clinton’s “My Life,” Dan Brown’s “Angel and Demons,” John Grisham’s “The Testament” and Ronald W. Clark’s “Einstein, The Life and Times.”

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