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  • Randy Shell

Revolution Lies in Hearts

Updated: May 21, 2021

With the help of my niece I have now joined the 21st century and have a website. She said I should blog something. I told her I didn’t know how to blog. She said just write something about book selling, and send it to me. So here it is:

I opened a brick and mortar book store a little over two years ago. People thought I was crazy. Book stores in the US were closing at a record pace. They questioned the relevance of a used book store in this day and age. Who reads old books anymore? “I don’t read fiction or poetry, it is enough just to keep up with the news.” “I don't have time to read and who cares about poetry anyway?” Good question, does literature or poetry matter any more?

I read today that the Burmese poet Khet Thi was imprisoned and killed by government forces on on May 8th. He is the third poet to be killed in Myanmar this year. The other two being poets K Za Win, 39, and Kyi Lin Aye, 36 who were shot dead during protests in March. They join the ranks of poets and writers around the world who have been killed, imprisoned or forced to flee and go into hiding. Does writing and poetry matter? Apparently it does to governments. The writings that governments are most afraid of is exactly what we should be reading. When governments monitor and control the internet the printed word makes these writings much harder to control.

I am not a conspiracy theorist but I do believe that people should be exposed to ideas and I do believe in the freedom to think and form our own opinions and beliefs. This is what book stores are about. A safe place to debate ideas with new and old friends, some who may have died a thousand years ago. I also give out free books to children. While the “Three Little Pigs” may not have great literary merit it does start them thinking.

So back to the question, are book stores and the printed word still relevant? The answer of course is yes, they are. If you still disagree, head down to your local book store and pick up an unedited copy of “Common Sense, The Rights of Man” by Thomas Paine. Keep in mind that in some countries that may get you killed. I will close with a poem by the late Khet Thi who inspired this blog.

In heads, they shoot Never do they know Revolution lies in hearts
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