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In former times it was a simple place,
Where one could read without a blushing face,
With thickly bound and edifying titles,
Like Noble Greeks, and red highlighted Bibles,
And Shakespeare (sans Andronicus), and Mark Twain,
Whose humor, though defiant, was humane.

Today it’s more permissive, and diverse,
Though who’s to say it’s better, or it’s worse.
Now crammed beside the Good Book, mere shelves over,
Are bloody tales as chilling as October,
And novelettes as lurid as those scenes
Displayed in certain grownup magazines.

—J. P. Celia