“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interest. The library was open, unending, free.”

—Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates, American author and journalist

Image from Unsplash by Susan Q Yin

Thinking back over my education, I seem to have lived two lives. Up to and through college, I was a classroom kid — following the rules, studying for each test, pursuing good grades — to become what society called a success. At the time, my SAT scores and GPA were all that mattered, with, of course, the right extra-curricular activities and work experiences.

Cracking a book that was not required reading or (Heaven forbid!) reading a book for pleasure could never compete with playing with friends or watching TV.

Years after traditional school was over, I discovered the wonderful world of books in which I could explore any interest that suited me. Suddenly, I couldn’t get enough of the knowledge and wisdom packed into all the treasures they held.


Examine your own educational journey. Where and how have your classrooms and libraries influenced your life so far?

How do you intend to continue your education from this point forward?

Please reply to this post with a few books that have opened up your world and set you free.