Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dominica's Stockfarm Prison

We learned recently that not only is there overcrowding up at the prison here on Dominica, but they also have no books. Now, I cannot imagine anything worse than being in prison without a distraction like reading. The days must be endless. The boredom must be killing. Not at all like the prisons in the US with Cable TV and classes to take.

Anyway, as you might remember, Mr. Wizard and I moved to Dominica with 29 boxes of books. So, we have decided to donate about half of our library to Dominica's prison. We have been going through the books and quibbling. While the Wiz likes to hang on to positively everything, I am the opposite, so the scene goes something like this:

Wiz: "Aw, I can't let that go, that is the Illustrated Bob Dylan, and I've had it longer than I've had you!"

Me: "You are going to deprive some poor prisoner of the Illustrated Bob Dylan? You need it more than some guy in Stockfarm?"

Of course, the prisoners in Dominica may not even know Bob Dylan, which leads to another thought. Our library reflects our tastes, so up to Stockfarm goes not only novels, but also books on Zen, Organic Farming, and Metaphysics. These will probably be of no interest to the prisoners, but oh well. Anything to read has got to be better than nothing. At least that is what we have been told.

One might ask why someone who paid to haul all those books to Dominica would be willing to part so easily with half of them, even if the cause is good. Well, here is the secret. I have an aging brain. I read a book, and very quickly all the details are lost. It may seems vaguely familiar when I pick it up again, but I can still enjoy it completely and not have the surprise ending spoiled. I figure at this stage in my life, I really only need 5-10 books in order to be endlessly entertained in perpetuity.

We also found some games to donate, and I suspect they may be a bigger hit than the books. Dominicans play Dominoes a lot. Drive through any village and you will probably see men hunched over a table feverishly slamming dem bones. Domino play can be very dramatic and for some reason women do not seem to play. I have always speculated that this is because the women are working while the men play.

I found a set of Dominoes buried in a chest and I was so glad. Maybe it will help some of the non readers to pass the time.

I also think comic books might be a good thing. So if you have a pile you don't want, send them on down and we'll get them to Stockfarm.

livingdominica: and now I won't have to dust so many books...


dom said...

My Uncle is an avid reader, he gets 5 books per fortnight from the library, and makes a squiggle on page 67 of each to note that he's read it!
Please be kind enough to visit my blog and leave me a lovely Dominica flag .... I'm surprised I don't have one already.



dom said...

How rude of me ... I should have asked you to plant a flag on my wifes' site too :)

Billy said...

well i got a full library i could donate too. am not in Dominica right now so i would to find a way to get the books to them.

Jen said...

Dom: I will visit you!

Billy: That is terrific that you want to give books. I am also giving several bookshelves, so I'll send an extra for your books. Tina Alexander is handling this project. You can contact her at

Billy said...

ok Jen.