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Much more interesting than watching a movie

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Books are much more interesting than watching a movie. These were the sentiments of some of Kimberley’s “bookworms”, who stated that the Judy Scott Library has impacted their lives positively.

Avid reader Magdalene Oliphant, 86, at the Judy Scott Library. Picture: Soraya Crowie

LIBRARIES can play a vital role in intellectual development and help build vocabulary … plus books are much more interesting than just watching a movie.

These were the sentiments of some of Kimberley’s “bookworms”, who stated that the Judy Scott Library has impacted their lives positively.

One of the library’s eldest readers, 86-year-old Magdalene Oliphant, who lives in Colville, said the local library is a great part of her weekly programme.

Oliphant makes her way to her local library every week on foot to pick up her books.

According to the librarians, Oliphant has read almost every book in the library and they struggle to keep up with her demand for new reading stock.

Oliphant said the books have kept her company from a very young age.

“I have been reading from a very young age. I spend about one to two days on one book, depending on how interesting it is. There are some books which I am unable to put down and will finish them in a couple of hours,” said Oliphant.

Oliphant said she is not certain where her love for books came from, but she has always had a deep love for holding a book and reading it from front to back.

“I do not have a favourite genre to read. I have read so many books and each one has taught me something new or interesting. Not one book is like the other. The writers also differ from each other. Each one has their own unique way of using words and constructing their sentences.”

She said she has been going to the Judy Scott Library for many years and has read almost all the books in the library.

“I have read the majority of the books at the library. I no longer go to the book rows as I have read almost every book in those rows. The librarians now take out books for me and I just pick them up. I have marked the books I have already read with my initials in order for them to know that I have already finished that book and for them not to duplicate books I have already read,” she said with a laugh.

Oliphant said the fact that she does not have a husband affords her the time to spend time on her favourite hobby.

“I do not have anyone whom I have to cook for. I am staying on my own. My children are also grown and staying on their own. I have enough time to conduct my household chores so I can sit and let the books transport me to another world. These books have kept me from many unnecessary troubles and also given me solutions to many challenges I have experienced. There is an answer to anything in a book.

“Books are not just educational, but entertaining and can evoke all sorts of emotions in a person. I sometimes get so lost in the books that I do not even notice or hear when someone is talking to me.”

One of the youngest avid readers at the library, 12-year-old Andrew Samuels, said the Judy Scott Library has assisted him greatly with his academics.

“I have been reading since the age of six, when I started Grade R. My mother used to read to me when I was younger. I have read fantasy books, books on the universe and planets … I have learnt so many things from the books,” said Andrew.

He said that although many youngsters prefer to get their information or read articles online, he still chooses to rather read a book.

“There is a lot of information one can find on a topic online, however, some of the information is inaccurate or false information. There is a rise in fake news or untrue information online. Also, some of the information has no relevance to what you search for as the information is pushed to the top by the use of keywords. Youngsters have to be careful with the information and sift through the information carefully. However, when it is in a book, then the information is more outlined.”

Andrew said that books have increased his literacy level.

“I was the Top Achiever at Progress Primary School last year. I have always been part of the top three performing learners when I was in primary school. This is thanks to the information I got from the books from the local library.

“The library has also helped me so much when I need to complete tasks for school as the librarians help you search for the relevant books. Even when I was struggling with some school subjects, like Afrikaans, I took out books in that language to improve my understanding of the language and vocabulary. Books have really played a vital role in my schoolwork.”

He said that although he no longer spends as much time at the library due to schoolwork, he still finds time to sit down with a book.

“My schoolwork has increased but I still read at night, though not as much as before. I am also currently writing a book with some friends. Hopefully, once we get our book published, it will also inspire another child to pen their own stories … just like the books I have read inspired me to do.”

Magdalene Oliphant returns her borrowed books a few days after she took them out. Picture: Soraya Crowie
A huge smile as Magdalene Oliphant recalls how she spent many happy hours reading. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Andrew Samuels has been reading since an early age and was encouraged to read Afrikaans by his mother when he battled with the language. Picture: Soraya Crowie

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