The other night there was a most beautiful nighttime sky in New York City. As I looked up and marveled at the moon, I was reminded of a news story that came out a few months ago listing the top books checked out at the grand New York library system.
Growing up in the South Bronx, I loved the local library. It provided me comfort and a place to hide, learn, and meet friends. It was a safe haven. I would take out do many books each well. Actually. Admittedly, my mother would often take out about 10 books at a time for me. I would devour them. Sadly, nowadays I’m more likely to read 100 tweets versus reading a book. I wish I could go back to the time of book reading each night.
The aforementioned list noted that the top book was A Snowy Day. Overall, children’s books made up a large part of the list. Perhaps tellingly, the only nonfiction book to appear on the list was How to Win Friends and Influence People. Now, here is the kicker. The well-known Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown did not make it onto the list. Do you know why? It is a popular children’s book, afterall. It didn’t make the list because one emoyee decades and decades ago disliked the book and didn’t order it for the library. It was not in the library shelves until 1972. It originally came out in 1947.
I am fixated on this bit of reading history because it shows you how harmful one person’s personal opinion can be at times. Obviously, in this situation, no real harm came about. At least no physical harm. Yet, some children were possibly deprived of having access to this great book. And, this great book was deprived of its rightful place in a top ten list. Overall, it’s a great list. It was just missing a cute book about a bright moon. Never let the moon’s light be obscured.