|A Bogota trash man at work (not Mr. Gutierrez)|
Well, let me introduce you to 53-year-old Jose Gutierrez, a garbage truck driver in Bogota, Columbia. Gutierrez, himself an avid reader of the classic authors and more current literary fiction, just could not stand to see the books he found on his route through the wealthier areas of the city to be destroyed. He took them home instead...and according to this U.S. News report, he starting sharing them with the kids in his neighborhood.
20,000 books and counting. Readers are, indeed, very special people. (By the way, I see that Anne Rice has taken to calling avid readers "People of the Page." I smile every time I see that.He says books are luxuries for boys and girls in low-income neighborhoods such as his, with new reading material at bookstores too expensive. There are 19 public libraries in Bogota, a city of 8.5 million, but tend to be located far away from poorer areas."This should be in all neighborhoods, on each corner of every neighborhood, in all the towns, in all departments, and all the rural areas," says Gutierrez. "Books are our salvation and that is what Colombia needs."