A gift for the soul

Linda Debebe

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia World Book Day is celebrated on April 23. The day sees a lot of activities taking place in many parts of the world. It is a unique day when books are donated and circulated for the sake of enlightenment.

Indeed, it is also William Shakespeare’s birthday, and many believe, celebrating books on the birthday of a renowned writer like Shakespeare would speak of the essence of books more profoundly. This day is known to be celebrated by giving books and flowers to loved ones and others.

Linda Debebe, a medical practitioner, has passed through this experience before. She, however, did not stick to the one-on-one book giving custom. Some years ago, she found herself in a very different situation when visiting a prison populated with incarcerated politicians and infamous criminals. She immediately embraced the idea of pledging books that she had in her shelf. Books had always been her loyal friends. Giving a book has now become her valued duty and had earned her a valuable fame.

Now she has  an extremely busy phone that rings almost every minute accepting a series of requests, appreciations and promises. “I have become a well-endowed telephone operator,” she jokes. Her calm and responsive character is merely demonstrated in her telephone conversations with people who call her to ask where they can drop off their used books or tell her how important a job she is doing. “I am very impressed in what people are telling me. It’s too big to compare with what I am doing,” she says.

Read more at: The Reporter


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