Every week during Bathroom Reading Month, we will host a giveaway for a book of your choice from the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader collection. Just to spice it up, we will ask you to answer a question on the blog. At the end of the week, we will pick a random winner from the answers and post it on the blog along with our favorite answers. Remember that this is in addition to our “mother-of-all” contest: enter to win the entire in-print library of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers.
Week #3: At the Library
QUESTION: If you were stuck in a library,
what section of would you spend the most time in and why?
Answer the question in the comments section of this post to be entered to win a book of your choice from the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader library. Answers must be posted by June 19, 2013, midnight PST to be eligible to win. A winner will be announced on Friday, June 21, 2013. Open to US residents, 18 year + only.
Need a little inspiration? Read all about one of the nation’s most famous libraries from Uncle John’s Plunges into History Again.
LET THERE BE LIBRARIES
Andrew Carnegie was no saint—just ask anyone who worked for him. But he was considered the patron saint of libraries.
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish immigrant whose family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when he was 13. His first job was as a bobbin boy, a kid who handles spindles in a cotton factory. Then, he got a job as a messenger, and next, he started working his way up at the Pennsylvania Railroad. As he got older and his talent with money became apparent, his mother mortgaged her house to provide him with some seed money for investments. Andrew parlayed his stake into a small fortune. He started his steel business, and in 1901, sold it to J. P. Morgan for $480 million (390 million euros).
SHREWD, BUT NO SCROOGE
Carnegie was always a big believer in charity. In 1889, he wrote an essay called “The Gospel of Wealth,” in which he proposed that it was the responsibility of the wealthy to share their fortunes for the betterment of the people. But he didn’t just believe in throwing money into the wind, either. So, in his later days, he pondered how he could do some good without wasting his money. A childhood mentor, wealthy retiree Colonel Anderson, provided his inspiration.
Colonel Anderson owned hundreds of books. He let neighborhood kids browse his shelves on Saturday afternoons, take books home, and come back for more—just like a library. That was how Carnegie got his childhood education, and he was ever grateful.
CHECK THIS OUT
Carnegie built Pittsburgh a grand library in 1899. One library might have been philanthropic enough for most men, but Carnegie was a library-building machine—2,509 in all. He built them in every state in the United States except Rhode Island. He built them in the United Kingdom too, including his hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland. He built them in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia—even Fiji.
By the time of his death, Andrew Carnegie had given away 90 percent of his fortune. And his name didn’t appear above the entrance of any of his libraries. Instead, there was the simple inscription: “Let There Be Light.”