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National Book Week 2018 - - ESSAY WRITING CONTEST - By Gwyneth Dianne Ze­narosa

Ate­neo de Naga Univer­sity Re­gion V—BRLC

"I don't like books."

That is what my past self would say about read­ing. Grow­ing up, books weren't ex­posed to me. The only books I could read were the ones with pic­tures. Though

I was an honor stu­dent, I felt be­hind than the oth­ers. But I did want to start read­ing; it just wasn't easy. I wasn't a reader and new books were ex­pen­sive, so read­ing didn't feel worth it. I would've gone to a li­brary, but the only thing was— my school didn't have one.

So, when I started high school, I was ec­static to ex­plore my school's li­brary and read freely. It be­came the par­adise of the de­vel­op­ing book lover in me. I fed my brain with in­for­ma­tion and felt my­self change. I felt ready to live— be­cause of books.

But then again, I was priv­i­leged. Not ev­ery­one had the same ac­cess and op­por­tu­nity. Some didn't even have de­cent class­rooms, let alone a li­brary. So, even if books changed me, oth­ers still re­mained in­dif­fer­ent.

How­ever; with a col­lec­tive vi­sion and con­nected ac­tions to­wards bet­ter li­brary ac­cess ev­ery­where, trans­for­ma­tion might come in the so­ci­ety. For in a sin­gle page, para­graph, line, phrase, or even word— great power lies. A book's power could change some­one's heart and out­look in life through em­pa­thy. If one book could do this, then a li­brary could do even more. In this world filled with chaos, in­jus­tice, and false news cre­ated by our own lead­ers, ev­ery­one must be firm and not be swayed by fal­si­ties. The very change we asked our lead­ers should start within our­selves. Li­braries could do that— in the form of lit­er­a­ture.

Back then, I didn't like books. But then again, hu­mans don't like what they can't un­der­stand. Books changed that for me— and it could to it again to oth­ers.

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