I was at the library today and saw an unattended child throwing books around. Each time one of the books hit the floor, my heart fell.
When we first moved to the U.S., we didn’t have a lot of money, so there was no toy room at our apartment. We didn’t need it. I had a doll, which was one more than my older sister had. But we always had lots of books, and they all came from our local library.
Every week, my parents would take us to the library and we would check out the maximum that we were allowed, which (I think) was 20 books each. The librarians all knew us and would sometimes let us take a few more than we were supposed to. When we read our books, we turned the pages carefully and wouldn’t ever have dared to turn a corner down.
Watching this child take books off the shelves and throw them around was actually painful. So I said, “Little girl. Stop throwing books.” She looked at me as she held a book in mid throw, uncertain of what to do. At that moment, her nanny came by and scolded her. But, she didn’t tell her to pick up the books. And she didn’t pick them up, either.
I’ve seen kids throw toys and clothes around. And it’s irritating. But when I see books being mistreated, I go a little apeshit crazy inside.
You don’t throw books. Ever.
© 2013 JAE-HA KIM