This photo by Micah Albert won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category of the 2013 World Press Photo Contest. It depicts a woman taking a break from her work as a scavenger near Nairobi to read a book she has found. As dire as her situation seems, her hunger for intellectual sustenance outweighs, at least for a while, her hunger for economic sustenance. When asked about it, she told the photographer, “It gives me something else to do in the day besides picking [trash].” It’s a vivid reminder that the life of the mind is not an upper class luxury but a universal human need.
If you’d like to help put more books into the hands of those who hunger for them, consider making a donation to one of these charities.