Neil Gaiman gave a great lecture
on the importance of libraries, reading, and daydreaming at The Reading Agency's annual lecture series in London on Monday, October 14th. There are a lot of powerful statements, but these are a few of my favorites:
"Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it's a gateway drug to reading...And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable...
And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals."
"Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information."
"Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. I'm going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. It's this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point, imagined. Someone decided it was easier to sit on a chair than on the ground and imagined the chair. Someone had to imagine a way that I could talk to you in London right now without us all getting rained on.This room and the things in it, and all the other things in this building, this city, exist because, over and over and over, people imagined things."
Definitely worth checking out! Read the full article here