Friday, September 21, 2012

"A book should be used and reused. It has life, it has a message."

BBC Photo

The quote in the title of today's post comes from the amazing Hernando "Nanie" Guanlao.

Nanie, who is in his 60s, lives in Makati, Philippines, and is at the center of a noble endeavor.

Since 2000, his home has served as a lending library for the surrounding community, which part of the great metropolitan area of Manila. He offers thousands of books and has no rules. His goal is to spread literacy and the love of reading and learning.

Here's an excerpt from a recent BBC article:
"The idea is simple. Readers can take as many books as they want, for as long as they want — even permanently. As Guanlao says: 'The only rule is that there are no rules.'"
Nanie Guanlao is, in my book (pun half-intended), the kind of role model we need more of. I won't cut-and-paste his full amazing story onto the blog. Instead, here are links to two terrific pieces of journalism about him:

If you find his story inspiring or fascinating, you'll enjoy those two articles and getting a fuller sense of what Nanie has accomplished.

I will add two short tidbits, though:

1. I love this full quotation from Nanie at the end of the BBC story: "You don't do justice to these books if you put them in a cabinet or a box. A book should be used and reused. It has life, it has a message. As a book caretaker, you become a full man."

2. The Philippine Daily Inquirer article notes that Nanie's library, The Reading Club 2000, is located at 1454 Balagtas St., Barangay La Paz, Makati City. Inquiries can be emailed to, and Nanie also has a Facebook page. I'm going to check into whether donations can be mailed to his library. Because a community library can never have enough books.

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