Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reading comprehension is overrated

On the way to the elevators, sitting on the table for staff mailboxes, is an inscribed brick paver. I don't know what it's doing there, but we do have these same pavers, bought by patrons as money raisers for the Friends of the Library, out in the Children's Garden. They have little, usually Library appropriate, sayings on them, like:

Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
-Groucho Marx


Leroy, I have always despised you and leave a record of it here where you will never visit, a library.

The paver at the elevators, perhaps there awaiting its installation, said to me, over and over as I headed to the elevator:

It's not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend from wonder.
-by R. J. Palacio

And every time I saw it I thought "How strange." And every elevator ride I would muse on what exactly is "A friend from wonder." And each time I mused on it it became more strangely lovely to me. I want to be a friend from wonder! I want to do everything from wonder! Eat, breathe, clerk, write, think from wonder. Let me be open to all the great magic of the world, and let it flow through my heart!

Then, today, wheeling my cart of books to the elevator I saw that the paver did not say:

It's not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend from wonder.
-by R. J. Palacio

It said:

It's not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend. 
From Wonder.
-by R. J. Palacio

And I thought "Oh blah blah blah."

addendum: This is a true story. I did think these things, so I leave it as is, but I would feel lousy if I didn't add that I actually have, it turns out, read Wonder by R. J. Palacio and quite liked it. In the end I suppose the quote is okay too, despite my "Blah blah blah" reaction. Still, I'd take Groucho's over it any day.

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