Discarding books

To gently thwart the Charleston County Public Library’s efforts to discard books that haven’t recently circulated, on each visit I check out at least one or two older, lesser-known titles from five to 50 years ago or more. This is in part due to my taste in antiquated non-fiction and fiction, but it also serves as a context and measuring stick for evaluating newer books.

Readers interested in pursuing a similar strategy might consider the following selections: Fiction readers may seek out Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Daphne Du Maurier, Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway, P.G. Wodehouse and John Mortimer.

Carl Sandburg’s “Always the Young Strangers” and “Ever the Winds of Chance,” as well as Gerald Durrell’s “My Family and Other Animals” are autobiographies so enjoyable one doesn’t want them to end. Mystery writer Ngaio Marsh’s books like “Artists in Crime” and “Clutch of Constables” engage imagination and intellect in a way similar to Dorothy Sayers’ books.

Children’s book titles that stand out are “Gone-Away Lake” by Elizabeth Enright, “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate,” “The Willouby’s” by Lois Lowry and Edward Eager’s “Half-Magic.”

Well-written and informative gardening books like Katherine S. White’s “Onward and Upward in the Garden,” Beverly Nichols’ “Down the Garden Path” and Margery Fish’s “We Made a Garden” always inspire.

Checking out older titles may not act as a wrench in library machinations. But books like these should always be on our library’s shelves.

Hayden D. Shook

Regatta Road

Charleston

Traffic jam

For those of you lucky enough to be somewhere else on April 26, you missed the closure of both lanes of I-26 eastbound for about 10 hours. If you lived on Highway 78 between Highway 27 and Jedburg Road, you paid the price. I had to call the Dorchester County sheriff to find out that a gasoline tanker crashed on the interstate, creating a huge environmental hazard to be cleaned up.

I called Live Five News, which began running the crawl line alert that the lanes were closed.

I was surprised Sunday morning that I had to get to page B2 of The Post and Courier to find a small article on the wreck.

Do you think that had something to do with this being the death-trap stretch, where some think protecting huge pine trees in the median is more important than human life or environmental damage caused by wrecks like these?

Maybe Jim Rozier or Sen. Larry Grooms will buy a half-page ad to explain why it would be more important to add pine trees than to get two lanes added to I-26 from Summerville to at least I-95.

It would really have been exciting if I-26 had been closed completely in both directions for 12 hours.

It is only a matter of time till it happens.

Alvin Foster

West 5th North Street

Summerville

Wheelchair needs

During a recent visit to a Goodwill store, I was told that wheelchairs and walkers would no longer be available for handicapped customers.

Because I am a 100 percent disabled Korean War veteran and a stroke victim, I have trouble walking and have fallen twice. My VA wheelchair is too heavy to load and unload each day.

It’s sad when a large tax-exempt business, which survives on donated items, cannot at least provide one safety certified wheelchair per store. One handicapped worker in Goodwill had no safety certificate on her wheelchair.

If I were boss, I’d be a lot more concerned about the donated pressure cookers in light of recent events.

LARRY E. KINARD

Saddle Trail

Summerville

Hearing impaired

As an audiologist I would like to thank the Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield Company for adding hearing aid coverage for their members.

In an era of increasing medical costs and decreasing benefits, this improved coverage allows members to obtain many hearing aid models at no cost.

This is a huge benefit for their hearing-impaired members as Medicare offers no hearing aid coverage.

Most health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids, and the out-of pocket expenses for hearing aids range from $2,000 to $8,000 per pair every five years. I hope other insurance carriers will follow suit.

Over 20 million hearing-impaired Americans do not wear hearing aids, and cost is a major factor.

I encourage policyholders who do not have this coverage to contact their insurance carriers.

JOSEPH GILLESPIE, M.AUD.

East Cooper Hearing Centers

Queensborough Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

No support

Five years ago, if asked about the future prospects of Mark Sanford and John Edwards of North Carolina, I would quickly have said: “Good, solid future on national bases.”

In the last several years, my opinion of both has spiraled down. Why? I was hoping that Mark Sanford was besieged by media just looking for negative stories.

Now that I have moved into the Charleston area, I have decided to not even make a contribution to the Republican effort.

I do not want my “measly” little contribution to be used to bring his paramour to these United States.

We can serve him better, say, by giving him a one-way ticket to South America. That way he can be close enough for them to walk the Andes Mountain trails.

I am voting Democratic in Tuesday’s election. All of you faithful women (and men) should do the same.

Don’t send Mr. Sanford to Washington, D.C., to represent us.

MARGARET MIMMS

Sandpiper Village

Mount Pleasant

Don’t be fooled

Voters who support Ms. Colbert Busch are in for a surprise if they believe that a Democrat, elected by Democratic money, can keep her promise to “listen only to my constituents.”

More than a million dollars of “outside money” from the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic national groups is being poured into South Carolina, funding personal attacks on Mark Sanford. They do not address the important issues, but they are effective.

If Ms. Colbert Busch wins, the Democratic leadership may permit her to cast a contrary vote during preliminary skirmishing, or after the outcome of a bill is known, and her vote won’t make a difference in the outcome. But when push comes to shove, on a key vote she will have no choice except to obey Nancy Pelosi. Money talks, and money will have elected her.

Any conservative who goes to the polling place without realizing how things really are may be in for a big disappointment.

JEAN C. HIESTAND

Bishop Gadsden Way

Charleston

Safe hospitals

I’m very concerned about the security at hospitals in Charleston.

I visited Roper Hospital and the Medical University recently. The only obstacle that stopped me from entering specific patients’ rooms was knowing the room number. To find out a room number, all I had to do was ask the information desk personnel. There were no security personnel present.

I frequently travel to Florida and have visited hospitals in the area to see relatives and friends. Every hospital that I visited was secure. Armed security was present, and picture ID was required for entry.

Is it that we are more trusting here in Charleston, or are people here different and less prone to violence in soft targets such as hospitals? We have already seen what one deranged person can do in a few minutes in an unprotected school.

It is my opinion that the security in local hospitals needs to be increased. Outside of the school system, we have an extremely vulnerable and helpless population in hospitals who deserve more protection.

CHARLES GRANT

Hamlet Circle

Goose Creek