Albert, a Bestseller from the Human Library Book Depot in South Africa

The Human Library “Book of The Month” is a series of portraits from our book collections around the world. It has been created to showcase the diversity in topics we carry and give an insight into the questions that books are answering from readers in their local communities.

February’s Book of the Month is 31 year old, Albert Matthews, from South Africa. Albert has been published under two titles in the Human Library: the Ex-Gangster and as the Ex-Drug Addict.
In the months that Albert has spent being part of the Human Library Book Depot in Cape Town, he has been published twice and estimates his number of readings to being around 10.

The question most frequently asked so far has been “Why did you join a gang?”.

With a history of being a member of the gang environment and a former substance abuser, Albert proclaims that the reason for joining the Human Library was that, he saw it as an opportunity to share his experience and his story of hope. This reasoning has not changed at all, and regarding his continued role as a book:

“I want to continue being a message of hope and change the stigma of “once an addict always an addict”

As a book at the Human Library, you are going to meet and enter into dialogue with an array of different people. Albert sees this as a great opportunity, and one of his best experiences as a book was meeting another book.

“I met a homeless guy that shared his story with me because one never find time to speak to homeless person.”

Albert feels that one of the most valuable aspects of the Human Library, is the complete lack of judgement and explains that being a part of the Human Library, is important because:

“It allows one to go through a paradigm shift and see life from a different perspective and also understand why people do certain things.”

Readers that feel tempted to take out Albert on loan should be prepared when coming to the Human Library.

“My message is short and simple, yet very important. People need to understand that change is possible”.

To find out more about Albert and his work with the Human Library in Cape Town, go follow the Human Library Cape Town’s facebook page, to get information about upcoming events, where you can meet Albert – and a wealth of other amazing books from South Africa:

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