Friday, May 22, 2015

Books as a Luxury

There is this adorable little bookstore down the street from where we live here in Sarajevo. The family and I visit it if we are walking into town on a Saturday or Sunday. There use to be two employees that we would always see and as I walk home I would see them nearly daily and wave a hello as I passed the store.
Last Saturday we went into the bookstore (has a surprisingly large collection of books in English) and I asked the lady about the other person, the guy who was there a lot but I hadn't seen in months. She told me she had to let him go (thankfully he found another job) because the store doesn't make that much money. As she said it, books are a luxury. That made me so sad, still does.
Society here is quite educated but owning a book is expensive, unemployment is rampant, when one has to make a decision on what to spend money on the necessities win. I know they have libraries here but I'm not sure of how easy or not it is to get books.
I firmly believe the access to books, to reading, literature is important, nay vital to a society's growth and development.
After hearing her say that I bought a couple of children's books to give to the family I volunteer with, so hopefully they will have more books around the house, to encourage reading and learning.


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