Friday, February 10, 2012

The Sanctuary of Reading

I have always loved the idea of book clubs and have been a half-hearted member of several over the years.   I had really given up hope of finding one that suited me until this year when I was asked to join one that has been running for years in our community.   It is different from others in which I've participated in that professors from nearby University of Western Ontario lead the discussion and are paid to do so.   This means "no fooling around", two solid hours of talking about the book chosen.....and that suits me just fine!   Last night was one of the meetings and we discussed Alice Munro's "Too Much Happiness", a book of short stories written by one of the foremost writers in Canada.   The stories are so rich in complexity and sometimes disturbing details and happenings that the discussion was lively, intriguing and literally could have gone on for a few more hours.  I walked home afterwards still deeply immersed in thinking about the book and feeling blessed to be invited to be in a group of people who treasure reading as much as I do.

Just thought I'd leave you with a few lines from two books that are favourites of mine.  The first is "The Shadow of the Wind"  by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

"This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary.   Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul.   The soul of the person who wrote it and those who read it and lived and dreamed with it.   Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens....In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hand.  In the shop we buy and sell them but in truth books have no owner.   Every book you see here has been somebody's best friend.   Now they only have us."

"....few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart.   Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a place in our memory to which, sooner or later - no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget- we will return."

The other book is "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" by Gary D. Schmidt.   I love this passage, again about books.

"Turner" he said, "books can be fire, you know."   "Fire?"  "Fire.   Books can ignite fires in your mind, because they carry ideas for kindling, and art for matches."

Ever wonder what books in a bookstore or library do when humans aren't around?   .....Check out this YouTube video:

1 comment:

Aimeslee said...

Love all the creativity in these pages, and the message as well. xoxo