One of my heroes is Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie certainly had a lot to atone for, but one of the things he did really well was set up libraries across many parts of the world. When Carnegie grew up, books were not accessible to the poor and the poor were 95% of England or Scotland. That changed because Carnegie set up thousands of libraries. I looked around the world and I said, "Who's the Andrew Carnegie of India? Who's the Andrew Carnegie of South Africa? Who's the Andrew Carnegie of Ethiopia?" And I didn't see work being done at a scale that would bring books to kids. It just seemed that something fundamental was missing. I can't imagine a world without books. Yet for billions of people, that is a reality. So my goal was fairly simple: to start Room to Read and to try and change that.
She also had a hardbound notebook. She began writing about her walks. The city. As is also with that age, the back pages of any notebook have a lot of use. Reminders, phone numbers, sudden thoughts that present themselves like Haiku. Short bursts of seemingly disconnected words. Over time, the notebook began to fill faster from the back pages.
Because we had so much to hide.
In those back pages, we learn to hide from ourselves. Our secret corners. As easily accessible as the front pages, but perhaps incomprehensible to another person.
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