Roman scholar and philosopher Marcus Cicero once said that a room without a book is a body without a soul.
The soul is an inevitable and eternal part of a human body and, as others say, a person’s most valuable possession. Knowledge is, too — and books are filled with them.
As the pandemic continues, Filipinos have found solace in books that have proven to be powerful tools in combating isolation. Travel with your imagination, expand your horizons and stimulate your mind by reading in celebration of World Book Day.
Magic lives on
Because of the lockdown, the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) has once again been closed until further notice. However, readers are encouraged to visit its online public access catalog at tinyurl.com/b6xsw8ak for titles they are interested in reading.
For those residing within Manila, the NLP is highlighting its NLP Book Cart project to engage Filipino youth in literature, especially those who do not have access to reading materials. The innovative program can be seen roving Rizal Park every Friday and Saturday.
Many libraries have taken their services online. The Quezon City Public Library made it easier for readers to virtually browse collections of the Main Library and all its branches, from books to thesis, kits and disc collection via opac.quezoncitypubliclibrary.org. Readers can have a real-time chat with a library staff member when they log in at quezoncitypubliclibrary.org.
Book Nook, a free library, has been set up at SM Aura Premier.
Located at the mall’s fourth level, it provides readers with ‘spaces’ into which they can dive into different worlds. Some books are even free to take home. As a way of paying forward, readers can also donate books for others to enjoy.
Similar to the concept behind setting up a community pantry, Lorna Zaragosa, owner of The Happy Liblarry, put up a community library in Sangandaan, Quezon City.
The mobile library lets people take books for free. The books have been sanitized using with alcohol and UV lamp, Zaragosa said.
The Happy Liblarry isn’t accepting book donations at the moment but is encouraging others to put up a community library within their area.