Support The Library: NYPL’s Triple Match Offer From Penguin Random House Ends Tonight At Midnight

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In my twenties, at loose ends, I took a break from my roofing job and went over to the main branch of my local library in the middle of the afternoon. That day at the library, there was a beautifully arranged display of literary journals, and I took a stack of them over to a table and started reading at random. That’s how I found a short story by fellow Chicagoan Stuart Dybek. The writing was instantly recognizable as the language of the South Side, where I was from. And that encounter opened up everything for me and made my writing life possible; I suddenly saw the connection between the real world and the way it was represented in words.

This kind of discovery could only have happened in a library. I was a roofer with $8 in my pocket—hardly the kind of cash that lets you splurge on 15 different literary journals—but I was free to walk in, sit down, start reading, and find the course of my life forever changed.

That afternoon also made me a lifelong fan of libraries and the people who dedicate their lives to maintaining these democratic places, where anyone, no matter their background or economic circumstance, can enjoy free access to knowledge. And as you well know as a patron of libraries, knowledge is power.

Today, I’m happy to report that my publisher, Penguin Random House, will triple match any gift made to The New York Public Library. Will you join me today and triple your impact on all the fortuitous and life-changing opportunities the Library encourages and makes possible for everyone who seeks out its resources?

I came to literature late—in addition to working as a roofer, I’ve also worked as an engineer—and have been catching up with my reading ever since. I couldn’t have written Lincoln in the Bardo or my story collections, Tenth of December and Liberation Day, or any of my other books without years of reading widely and often indiscriminately—even chaotically. In between books, while waiting for the next book to take hold of me, I’ll delve into reading to replenish the well. I’m an unsystematic reader, and I love having access to as many books as I can get my hands on. I also remember the rich feeling of taking a break from my engineering studies at the Colorado School of Mines to wander through the stacks (especially the fiction section), reveling in the feel and smell of the books, dreaming of someday being part of that lineage. I know I’m not alone in this feeling that a library is, more than anything else, a place of great freedom: the freedom to explore, the freedom to alter oneself into a more alert and complete person.


Blue NYPL “Knowledge Is Power” magnet with red circle with text saying Free Gift with Any Donation

Don’t miss out on Penguin Random House’s triple match—donate now and triple your support for the vital resources only the Library can provide. Support free access to millions of books, e-books, research materials, and more for all New Yorkers, novelists and scholars and book lovers alike. When you do, you’ll receive a limited-edition NYPL magnet as a sign of appreciation for your generosity.

I know you share my belief that libraries are an integral part of our cities and communities, the place where our democracy says, “Knowledge is power.” Libraries have helped me find my voice and write my books. They’ve also continued to help millions of New Yorkers of all backgrounds discover the books and resources they need to improve in school, gain new career skills—or write the novel that they’ve been dreaming about. Will you join Penguin Random House now in giving to The New York Public Library, and making sure readers can embark on life-altering explorations at their local library?
Demand for NYPL’s resources is growing, especially for digital resources like e-books and audiobooks. Additional support from generous library lovers like you is valuable as the Library works to expand its digital collections and ensure that readers everywhere retain access to books and other materials.


Make a contribution now, while your gift will have three times the power, and receive a limited-edition NYPL magnet as a sign of thanks from the Library and from my publisher, Penguin Random House.

Banner Image: Knowledge Is Power gift with any donation. Image Credit – NYPL


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Tony Marx

On a mission to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen communities.

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