Last Saturday afternoon I attended the relocation ceremony for Open Books. Open Books is a local, non-profit, all volunteer book store that recently moved from the Navy side of town to 1040 N. Guillemard St. right off of the train tracks. I have always been a fan of Open Books, as they spear headed the PRISON BOOK PROJECT. This is an initiative to get literature to incarcerated people, and people say altruism is dead.
I stopped in and picked up a copy of Albert Camus’s The Stranger (an old favorite). The ceremony was very nice, catered, and much drink to be had. I enjoyed my time sitting around a drum circle and hob nobbing with all the dispossessed people that I had so much in common with. Life can be funny sometimes, you can easily forget you are not alone. that you have a community.
I spoke with Johnny Ardis, a volunteer at Open Books and a fellow student here at Pensacola State College. John felt that Open Books was a cause worth his energy, himself a student of Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, and Howard Zinn.” Moving down town was only natural,” says Ardis ” win, win.”
Later on in the evening we had an open mic, and of course if you give me a soap box I am gonna talk, so I read John Barth’s Autobiography aloud. Other’s played songs, and read poetry. I even got to meet local celebrity and voice of the people, Father Nathan Monk. Open Books really is a wonderful establishment. They even have a shop in the back dedicated to a robotics club and 3-d printing (which if you have never seen is amazing).
So if you wanna lend a hand, or donate some books, or even find something for your own personal library, I would suggest snubbing the fat cats at Barnes and Nobles and Books A Million. Head down to Open Books and make a difference.
“You will never know just how great a book is in an 8-foot cell: your best friend. A story will stop you from going crazy sometimes.” – Joseph, Florida State Prison.
1040 N. Guillemard St., Pensacola Florida 32501
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