Monday, August 22, 2011


One of my favourite favourite writers, RAY BRADBURY – author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dandelion Wine and a legion of other volumes of prose and poetry – is 91 today!

This is how this one-man-book-factory described his boyhood experience of entering the library...
I'd open the door of the library and I'd look in, and all those people were waiting for me in there.

You see, a library is people. It's not books. People are waiting in there, thousands of people, who wrote the books.

It's much more personal than just a book. So, when you open a book, the person pops out and becomes you. You look at Charles Dickens, and you are Charles Dickens, and he is you.

You go in the library and you pull a book off the shelf, and you open it, and what are you looking for? A mirror. All of a sudden, a mirror is there and you see yourself, but your name is Charles Dickens. Or the book is Shakespeare, and so you become William Shakespeare or you become Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost or all the great poets...

You find the author who can lead you through the dark.
I thank the gods of the library for that day when I pulled a book off the library shelf with Ray Bradbury's name on it!

and thanks for leading me through the dark!

Here are are a trio of earlier Ex Libris postings about Ray Bradbury's The Golden Apples of the Sun; Something Wicked This Way Comes; and The Halloween Tree.

And there's more about Ray on the Sibley Blog.

Image: Ray Bradbury by John Sherffius


WendyLady@GoodBooks said...

Oh I just love Ray Bradbury's thoughts about libraries - thanks for this post. I'm going to forward it to my son, who was lucky enough to hear Mr. Bradbury give a lecture at a local community center (not sure why it was given there, because I'm sure he could fill a stadium!!!). His reflections on life made a huge impression on my then 24-year-old son. That man is a treasure.

Phil said...

Brian, I knew I could count on you for a Bradbury birthday tribute! There's another nice one by novelist Alice Hoffman on the LA TIMES website.

Phil said...

PS: You have an unfortunate typo in Bradbury's name in this post!

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks, Wendy and Phil" and typo corrected! :)

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