A Book is a Treat in Prison

2014-03-19 20.17.17Dear Ven. Xianzhong

Amituofo! Just read this short local article below and thought it might inspire you by knowing that establishing the prison library programs is so much appreciated and considered a very worthwhile cause. Although the story does not pertain to dharma literature, it does show that distributing books in general does make a profound impact on many lives.

 Title: A Book is a Treat in Prison

 “Emerald Oil, a gas station on the corner of Lake Murray Boulevard and Baltimore Avenue, not only boasts about having the lowest gas prices in La Mesa, but it also has a wide variety of free books and magazines!

 The owner of Emerald Oil said that some books were donated by a ‘mystery man’ about a month ago.  Then, last week, the man showed up and unloaded a truckload of books and left.  He has since shown up with more, leaving them on a table outside the store and including a ‘donations’ jar. The only downside is that people are allowed to take one book per visit.

 In this instance, the books were a present to the community from a man who wanted to do something good.

 The man’s name is Larry and, in a way, he went from zero to a hero.  A fit man of about 42, Larry said he had spent some time in prison for doing drugs.  He said that the prisoners used to fight over books.  In prison, a book was Larry’s big treat.  After he got out 20 years ago, Larry said he started grabbing as many books as he could.

 When asked about his dreams, Larry said he wanted to open a thrift store one day and keep supplying books.”

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