Tag Archives: Books

in the heart’s own wax

One book, printed in the heart’s own wax
Is worth a thousand in the stacks.

~ Jan Luyken (Dutch poet)


O heart, too much like stone, you,
and chisel dulled;
or, better, a hard drive,
with too many hurried bytes.

A tablet of wax
beckoning the fresh
of lettered treasures old and new…

Too many in the stacks;
Move, O bookish stylus, to the wax!

stylus on wax

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Posted by on December 7, 2015 in Poetry, Quotes, Uncategorized


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reading is powerful

Behold, the power of reading.
A wee snippet from a great blog post by Orange Marmalade.

Reading is powerful.

Reading aloud together forges enduring, companionable bonds as we journey together to new places and into new relationships, Jesse Wilcox Smith reading girlsexperience the emotions of a story together, make sense of stories together, create memories and build associations through story. We build a Secret Club, as it were, with passwords of just the odd word or phrase from countless stories that trigger curiously sweet camaraderie.  As we read, we join a larger community with all those who love sorting hats or Frogs and Toads or a red-haired girl who hates being called Carrots. Connection happens through reading, and connection makes the world a better place…

Reading heals.


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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Books, Quotes, Reading


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smell bound

Taken by my friend Abby in Portlandia @ Powells.

Yes. Just yes.

And I love the fact that the person in the lower right hand corner has their hand raised in the adoration position.
Or is that the questioning hand, “What the…???”



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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Books


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life is too short not to read



Amen, Joy.
But define bad

More simply, life is too short not to read.

But then again, I’m convinced that there will be books in heaven.
The new heavens and the new earth will have a library
a planetary library as per Silence in the Library
(just no Vashta Nerada lurking in the shadows).

I’m counting on it.

“And the books were opened.”

So we don’t have to be feverish about this
even though we frequently will be.

And since Jesus also speaks of drinking wine with us there too
winebibers can also take heart.

Guess I need to develop some vintage taste buds.

So we can relax and learn to savor both.

Life is too short not to.

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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Books, haverings


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what is it with books?


best. gif. EVER.

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.49.18 PM

When it’s a film based on a book, I watch the film first, then read the book. It tends to keep my disappointment/ frustration level down in the comparison between the two – and when I do read the book it’s like the ultimate director’s edition extended cut filled with deleted scenes and the occasional alternative ending or two.

But this scene in The Book Thief.

When Leisel enters the Mayor’s library and encounters those shelves of books, the film makes me flash a knowing smile, but Zusak’s word portrait in the book touches chords deeper in me than I can even understand. Which makes the gif at the top of this post the sexiest best gif ever. It makes me want to invade used bookstores and libraries, anything with vintage books – there’s just something about those vintage books! – and run the back of my hand along the spines.

Oh yes.

What is it with books?

won't work in most bookstores. most.

won’t work in most bookstores. most.




Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Books, haverings, Movies


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frugal chariots

Stumbled upon this article by Janie B. Cheaney (what a name! love it!). Empty Frigates.

What wondrously wise wisdom not only for children and their summer reads…
…but for children of all ages and stages and seasons and their Scripture reading…bold emphasis is mine…read it

“Literature” as subject is the study of literary craft. Craft is involved in every form of art, and learning about perspective and composition (for example) can help us understand a painting. But it can also distract us from the experience of just standing and looking. “The first demand any work of any art makes upon us is surrender,” Lewis wrote. “Look. Listen. Receive.” It makes sense to teach literature from a critical perspective in college, after students have read and liked dozens of books. But the younger the child, the less she’ll gain from character arcs and compare-and-contrast. In fact, too much of this could harm a child’s appreciation for literature in general, like poking at a live lab specimen until it’s dead.

empty frigatesThe new Common Core standards appear to make a bad method much worse. Instead of reading lots of novels and stories, students are exposed to “texts,” which they are then taught to dissect. Fiction and poetry go in the same hopper with informative essays and tracts. The fourth- or fifth-grader can’t just read; critical exercises bar his way to the story and its potential “to take us lands away.” If books are frigates, children should be allowed to step aboard and experience the journey, not make detailed diagrams of the rigging. Curriculum writers don’t seem to understand the main problem with standard educational theory, at least since John Dewey: The child is not a soul, but a brain. Brains don’t need experience; they only need facts.

If your child’s summer reading list came with worksheets, ditch them if you can. Just let the kids read, and continue to read to them—lots of books, and all kinds of books. They don’t have to finish every one they start; literary tastes are as individual as fingerprints and take time to develop. The cost is low, the value high. Take it from Emily Dickinson: “How frugal is the chariot / That bears the human soul.”

This is why when I teach I tell the audience to close their books and their eyes and just listen.

We need to allow ourselves to be carried away by texts.
But instead we poke at them until they’re dead.
Superb rigging diagrammers
rather than wayfarers.

Oh bring on that frugal chariot…

Thank you, Janie B. Cheaney


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Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Books, Quotations


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i smell heaven

I left a stack of books for you.

book paradise

book paradise

Blue bag.
Behind the counter.

I almost forgot but then saw the bag.

People have been leaving a lot of books lately, generic stuff, popular titles, newer, some brand new. Some find their way to the used book shelf, some to the borrow shelf, some are brand new and uncracked, so I put them right into stock. Some I set aside to give away – especially the Bibles.

So I lift up the bag, expecting to take a few moments to sort a bit.

And the smell hits me.

Old books.

booktreasure 3This bag is filled with old books.

Descriptive Geometry by Faunce with writing dating back to 1921.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens dating to 1925

“A tale which holdeth children from play & old men from the chimney corner.”

Black Rock: A Tale of the Selkirks by Ralph O’Connor inscribed Feb. 6, 1904 (what has happened to our penmanship, people!
The inscription is a work of art!)…

“To My Rose, Compliments of J.C. Kinison – May thy pathway be bright.”

Song of the Ages, inscribed 1916 “Mrs. E.A. Howell, Hardin, Montana”
Oliver Twist by Dickens, inscribed Dec. 19, 1826 “Ella Mae Barrett”cooleth
New Caesar with Vocabulary by Allen and Greenough, dated 1896. Latin treasure!
New School Algebra by Wentworth, dated Sept. 14, 1918 “Catholic High School Class Book”
A hymnbook – The Finest of the Wheat for Missionary and Revival Meetings & Sabbath Schools inscribed Jan. 1, 1895
The Return of Tarzan by Burroughs, “To Francis, With Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas, Gladys, 1923

Each is sniffed. Each is savored.

work of art

work of art

Fragile, fragrant treasures.

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who finds treasure hidden in a field…

Or in this case

in a blue bag.


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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Books


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