Books and Sharing

For me books are part of life; even as a child they gave me a place to live in and they fed me. It was like this: I played at building – books were my bricks, I stood them up as walls, laid them down as steps, leant them this way and that way to make a roof; when it was finished I'd crawl through the door and sit there in my very own house. I'd build others only thinking of the shapes and the sizes, then I began to notice the words on the walls. I grew bigger, my head went through the roof, but I thought much more about the words than repairing the roof.

The books fed my imagination. Every day they gave me more and more and more; they took me around the world; igloo, hut, palace, skyscraper – all I had to do was to choose, and the book gave me everything. This sharing was so good, I got used to it and it became a sharing of life itself: the more I asked the more I got.

As we are always wanting more, I thought one day it was time to stretch the sharing: I began to make my own bricks for a child – somewhere – along with other bricks, to build a house and to enter there – inside the world of books.

(Message of Lygia Bojunga for the International Children's Book Day, translated and printed amongs the 64 member countries of the International Board on Books for Young People).

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