Caution! Do not enter! Readers will be shot!

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I love this picture which a friend shared on Facebook. Though it could be mistaken for my office, it’s actually a picture taken during the London blitz. Two things about it strike me. First, what could the boy be reading? He is so intent and, strangely, happy. Second, how odd to have access to a bombed building like that. Can you imagine the yellow warning tape that would encircle it today?

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Caution! Do not enter! Readers will be shot!

  1. I can’t think of a better place to be after a bomb strike: statistically the chances of the same place being struck again are low and reading is possibly the best escape (even in times of peace, might I add). I too would love to know what the boy is reading!

    My father was born in London during the blitz. This picture made my day, thank you.

  2. I think he’s reading a book on how to build an air raid shelter.
    It’s a wonderful photograph! Thanks for sharing.

  3. First of all, amazing shot! Such a snapshot of history, horrific and beautiful all at once.

    Secondly, there is a used bookstore here in Milwaukee that looks like this. Mind you we have a few to choose from, so I stepped one foot in and walked right back out.

    I mean, how would I ever find a self-help book in that mess?! : )

  4. I like the idea that he seems to be reading a passage from a book in order to decide which one to take home perhaps. Or maybe, like every good photograph, we all have different interpretations of it.

  5. Reblogged this on totallyrandomgoodadvice and commented:
    R.O.D. = Read Or Die = best anime a bibliofile could ever love!

  6. There is something comforting about holding a book and reading.
    The boy in the picture is not alone; he is connectiong with the thoughts of another. A voice, through words carefully placed, is calmly speaking to him amidst the rubble and confusion—holding him in its arms.

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