November 12, 2023

By Arthur H. Gunther III

     This is a “mad-as-hell” painting. Forget the style, the competence of the artist. Just – please – look at the doorway to what is your usual, time-honored, cherished, musty-scented, treasure trove of a corner bookshop. Or one in the middle of the block.

     In that entry you see a book on offer, perhaps a best seller, maybe that of a new author, could be a classic there. Whatever is written on those pages can be read in freedom, open to all who come.

     You may not like the words or the subject; perhaps not your taste; maybe the book offends you, angers you, makes you cringe.

But also, there may be enlightenment, a wash against ignorance, prejudice, misunderstanding. You may learn something. You may expand the debate. You may teach others. You may change your views. You may grow. You may be more tolerant. You may gain empathy.

     All that or some of that in a book on offer in your local bookshop, or in the community library or on school shelves.

     However, you will have to pay the price of admission to the “free” event. You must reject the banning of any and all books. No one person, surely no government, president, governor, school trustee should ever have the power to decide what is offered for reading. To claim such power is to play God.

Read what you want; let others decide their bill of fare.

     That’s why the doorway to the corner bookshop is wide open.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. (





107 thoughts on “OPEN BOOK

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