AN HOUR IN A SCHOOL LIBRARY
L. Har Dayal, the great revolutionary, said that knowledge is like a big orchard with fruits of different kinds. To taste these fruits one may take birth again and again. One cannot taste all of them. This knowledge is acquired from books. To me the school library seems a store house of knowledge in all branches. I wish I could swallow all the knowledge contained in these wonderful books. But according to our school timetable we have only one hour at our disposal. Naturally one has to get a book issued and read it at home.
But the reference books are not issued. I have a fancy for them. Our school has two Encyclopedias – Encyclopedia Britannica and American Encyclopedia. They have a sea of knowledge. All the subjects have been tackled. Right from literature to the latest developments in the utilization of atomic energy can be studied in these two sets of books. All the topics are alphabetically arranged. There is generally one volume for one or two alphabets. All the information has been shown through graphs, pictures and natural settings. To me they are more interesting than a good novel.
I can afford only half an hour for it for I have to go through newspapers too in the reading room. I go through English and Tamil newspapers. One of my friends is from Karnataka. He goes through a Kannada paper. There are some good magazines too. Once a while I look into ‘India Today’ and The Week’ too. But at this age I do not follow many articles on political and economic issues.
Some of my friends are interested in comics alone. They are not issued. So they go through them hurriedly. Sometimes there is a quarrel too. Many boys come to the library for comics alone. Sometimes I too have a taste for a comic. Now the hour is over. I wish I could be in the library for hours and hours to digest all the knowledge imparted by books.