Books may or may not foster empathy (if you feel like fighting on Twitter, just claim they do, you monster) but when used in significant numbers they can insulate you from many things: cold, wind, stupidity, and… incoming shrapnel. According to the Tweet below, by journalist Katerina Sergatskova, as Russian forces drew ever closer to Kyiv, a Ukrainian “urban researcher” named Lev Shevchenko used his impressive library to protect himself from possible blown-in windows. So, pace Auden, books are actually good and useful.
This is the window of an urban researcher Lev Shevchenko in #Kyiv. He barricaded himself with books to keep the glass from flying into the room during the bombardment. #StopRussia pic.twitter.com/EO0j96Ofqj
— katerina sergatskova (@KSergatskova) March 3, 2022