Why Ray Bradbury Holds the Key to My Heart

by Katy on June 20, 2009 · 8 comments

Fahrenheit 411

The New York Times ran an article yesterday about the author Ray Bradbury’s lifelong love and support of public libraries.

“Libraries raised me,” Mr. Bradbury said. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”

Regular readers of The Non-Consumer Advocate already know about my love of both science fiction and libraries. So the knowledge that Ray Bradbury and I share these common passions fills me with head to toe happiness.

And 89-year-old Mr Bradbury’s advice on longevity?

“The children ask me, ‘How can I live forever, too?’ ” he said. “I tell them do what you love and love what you do. That’s the story on my life.”

Excellent advice.

Now I have reasoning and backup for my laying around and reading library books lifestyle.

Thank you Mr. Bradbury. I’ll see you down at the library.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen June 21, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Hi Katy,
I have been a fan of your blog for about a month now. Thanks for being a role model to all of us who are striving to use less and do more with what we already have. I too was taken with Bradbury’s NYT column and think he called it perfectly: libraries may be the great equalizer, more so even than university educations, which are now beyond reach for many. To me, libraries are one of the few good uses for our tax dollars. Now that so many state budgets are distressed, governors will be tempted to cut not just hours, but close entire branches. Without the free library, our culture would be impoverished in both great writers and in the kinds of ideas the average citizen can be exposed to, as well. By the way, libraries also hold great used book sales. My favorite buy at our local library sale was, appropriately, a copy of Bradbury’s wonderful book the Halloween Tree. I was happy to get it, a hardback with original dustcover, for a dollar, and even happier to open it and notice it was signed by the author. Thrift and art: could there be a better combination?!


Judy C. June 22, 2009 at 4:39 am

Katy (and others);

Would you list a few – or a couple dozen – of your favorite “reads” for your followers? I’m looking for some summer recommendations since, I, too, after a haitus of many years intend to rediscover our local public library.

Thank you!


Marianne June 22, 2009 at 5:46 am

I have been a big fan of libraries and reading all my life, too. Recently, I have going through a lot of books, cds, dvds, etc., to clear out the clutter that has been accumulating. I used to sell these back to a used book store, but the return was pretty pitiful. So I have now started just giving everything to my library branch for their semi-annual book sales. I figure I wouldn’t have made much money anyway, and they can use every cent the Friends of the Library can earn to help support programs.

At the last book sale, I noticed they even had video games and beanie babies!


Angela June 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Public libraries and Ray Bradbury are both on my “likes” list as well. Ray Bradbury is still going strong at about 89 years old. He speaks at the LATimes Festival of Books every year. My husband saw him a few years ago and said he’s remarkably inspiring.
Fahrenheit 451 was one of my first favorite SciFi novels.


karen June 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I spent many summers ( in my youth) volunteering at the library. It’s good experience & it shows another way to support your local libraries. If you love books like I do, it’s a great environment to be working in & it does make a difference. Now that I’m in the working world, my volunteer time has decreased but I hope to change that if I can 🙂
to the other Karen’s comment– > I am so jealous of your score! Ebay may get you some good offers but hang on to it as you have a truly priceless treasure, at least in the eyes of a fellow Bradbury fan 🙂


MAM June 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm

My city, Cedar Rapids IA, was flooded last summer. Virtually the entire first floor of the library was underwater and everything on that level was lost. Children’s books on the second floor were not underwater but many were lost to mold and mildew in the days following. So our library collection was reduced to whatever was at the branch library plus whatever happened to be checked out at the time.

I don’t know where negotiations stand currently, but FEMA at one point said that a public library did not constitue an essential service and federal funding could not be used for that purpose. That is wrong on so many levels. 🙁



alunatunes June 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

One of my sweetest memories is taking my kids to the library. Signing them up for summer reading. Ah, I miss those days. But I raised two AVID readers and am very grateful to our little public library and the lovely ladies who worked there. They always showed great enthusiasm and love for everyone.


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