Books Don’t Judge

Book PileI was just talking to someone about how important libraries are.

When I was young, our library was a safe haven. I could go there and hide away from peer pressure. An avid reader, I felt accepted and comfortable.

Sitting in a pile of Oz books, I accomplished quests and stood against evil. No one timed me at the library. No one limited me there. All the treasures were offered freely, with no strings.

I don’t have time to go to the library as an adult as much, but whenever I do it’s the same safe haven. My new library is half a continent and three decades away from my old one but it’s the same place. Librarians don’t judge and they forgive all sins but those committed against books.

I wonder how many misfit kids find their safe haven in the library? There are no outcasts in worlds inhabited by hobbits, vampires and mad hatters. I love the library still because there is a place where all are equal – race, politics, religion – none of it matters. Literature equalizes us.

Books don’t judge.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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