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Submitted by Rebecca

Knowledge is easy to come by especially when you are surrounded by books. I work in a library at a university. All day long I get to see what others are reading and I can ěcheck-outî any place on earth. We have hundreds of books on the fiftieth state, its history, its architecture, the culture, the landscape, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii. I love books. This is a love story about books. From books I can learn about the various islands, the beauty and diversity in the landscape; the steep cliffs, the valleys of Na Pah, the beautiful beaches of Waikiki, the lush green grass land and the lava formations of Hawaii Island, waterfalls, farmland and the surrounding crystal blue ocean. Itís all here. I can learn about the fruits: bananas, papayas, mountain apples, and mangoes. I can see spectacular pictures of sunrises and sunsets. I can learn about the people, their history, their culture, their language, their jobs and their traditions. I can see pictures of volcanoes spurting molten lava into the air. I can read about where to shop, what to buy and which restaurants individual guides prefer. I can even find recipes for poi and laulau.

I love to spend the hours visiting lands Iíve never been to, being introduced to people Iíve never met and attending celebrations unlike any I have at home or with friends. Books can help me pass the hours, pass the days and at times even pass the weeks of summer. During my life there have been periods where they were my only friends. I love them, I enjoy them, I embrace them, but no matter how wonderful they are, like the rest of us they have their shortcomings. From a book I canít feel the gentle breeze. From a book I canít taste a freshly picked banana. From a book I canít experience a smile or handshake. From a book I canít feel the first drops of an afternoon rain on my face and hands. From a book I canít talk to people and hear their laughter. From a book I canít feel the crisp cool water of the ocean on my skin. From a book I canít smell the grass or the salt water. Books will always be dear to me but what I need now is experience.


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