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This is paper's response to letter above:
We print this letter here with hesitation. We do it because we believe it is a document which New Republic readers will care to have seen, for we believe it is representative of spirit of American soldiers; we print it also because it brings home more forcibly than we could ever hope to, vital need of good reading matter for our soldiers and sailors. Our troops had been abroad a short time when General Pershing cabled for books. The French Government, we have been told, in a list of articles men should supply themselves with, put down books as one of first necessities. Soon we folks at home will hear same call from men themselves. "Send me tobacco- and books!" That will be demand. If you have a boy in service-a brother- a son- a friend- send him books if you send him anything. Abroad, literally millions of pocket size volumes have been sent to men in trenches by people of our allies. Put yourself in place of these men. They must sit still very often, while undergoing most frightful bombardment, waiting to attack or to be attacked. Many men go mad because of this terrible mental strain. What they need, above all else, is to keep their minds normal. And when they go back into billets, after service at front, they demand books all more. They have gone through such frightful experiences that they require something to put them in touch again with a sane world. REAL POCKET-SIZE VOLUMES NEEDED
Remember this, when you send books. Your soldier boy cannot carry an ordinary size book with him to trenches. What he needs are real pocket size volumes, so that he can carry several in his pockets without inconvenience. Little Leather Library volumes fill this need perfectly. They are 3 1/4" X 4 1/4" in size, and are bound in genuine leather so that they will stand hardest wear. Over a million of them were sold before war to people who wished to read good books while travelling. Since we entered war, over two hundred thousand of these volumes have been bought for soldiers and sailors as gifts.
If you have a boy or a friend in service, make your choice of titles listed below. If they do not prove to be what you expect, your money will be cheerfully refunded. __________________________________________________ (Just a note. The Little Leather Library Books sold for thirty cents, postage prepaid.)
I hope you have enjoyed this piece of history, and have seen as I have, inherent value that reading has in our lives. It is not merely entertainment. It is therapy, it is soothing, and under worst of circumstances, it can give us strength and grounding that we need to pull through.
Ellen M. DuBois, MA - Ms. DuBois is engaged and has a dog who loves to critique her work. She is published in vol.2 of God Allows U-Turns with her piece, "The Angel in the Dumpster". She writes to touch the hearts of others. Please visit Writings of the Heart, her award winning writer's resource site- http://writingsoftheheart.homestead.com/index.html