Ray Bradbury’s Wise Words on Libraries


October 18, 2012 by chriszumtobel

RB: When I left high school, I had all my plans to go to college, but I had no money. And I decided then, the best thing for me to do is not worry about getting money to go to college — I will educate myself. I walked down the street, I walked into a library, I would go to the library three days a week for ten years and I would educate myself. It’s all FREE, that’s the great thing about libraries! Most of you can afford to go to college, but if you wanna educate yourself completely, go to the library and educate yourself. When I was 28 years old, I graduated from Library.

“I graduated from Library,” what a great statement to come from one of my favorite authors (Fahrenheit 451 is my all time favorite book), especially when I am process of (hopefully) graduating from a combination of library and internet.

Earlier in the year I came across a lesser know book of Bradbury’s, Zen in the Art of Writing, which is full of insight into his early life and great pointers on not only writing, but creativity of all sorts.  There are many great quotes throughout and you can find some of them here but one of my favorites is,

“You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can’t sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live.”

It is clear that he has not only a love of writing, but an ever-present need to get his words on the page.  This is something that I don’t believe can be taught, even at schools like Harvard or Yale, but instead must be discovered by exploring the world and finding what it is that truly matters to you.  You must take the time to find what you not only enjoy doing, but something you actually have that incessant need to spend your time doing.

There is so much to learn everywhere!  It is unbelievable how expensive college is and some people really have been forced to – as Bradbury did – find alternative forms of learning.  It is a shame that society is so caught up in the importance of a college degree, rather than admiring the perseverance of a person to motivate themselves toward learning, with or without the structure of a classroom.

Below is a thought-provoking excerpt from an article on this subject,

Just think if the world were different. If the labels of schools didn’t matter—or, rather, if the premium-brand schools were like yachts or Ferraris, only for the ostentatious rich. Decent schools that offered merit scholarships were for scholars, and certificates from them proved nothing more or less than completion of a very specific course of study. And the rest of us stopped crowing about, or worrying over, the name on our college sweatshirts, or our kids’ college sweatshirts, or any of our LinkedIn profiles.

We might find more interesting things to think about. Like actually learning. Or becoming better people.

Interesting thought isn’t it?  Of course, college is a necessity for doctors, lawyers, and certain other professional fields, but what if it wasn’t looked at as such a necessity for everyone? What if college was thought of as a commodity rather than a necessity?

You can find the rest of the interview with Bradbury here
Featured Photo from Bookshelfporn.com (a new addiction on mine…)

5 thoughts on “Ray Bradbury’s Wise Words on Libraries

  1. plattesd2012 says:

    Reblogged this on Platte Public Library and commented:
    Ray Bradbury’s Library education served him well indeed!

  2. Zuleika says:

    Reblogged this on Commitmentarianism.

  3. […] Ray Bradbury’s Wise Words on Libraries (progressdaily.wordpress.com) […]

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