Books break the shackles

We are surrounded by communications from the past! Tune into one today. Photo by William Hoiles, via Basking Ridge Historical Society, CCA 2.0

We are surrounded by communications from the past. Tune in to one today!
Photo by William Hoiles at Basking Ridge Historical Society, CCA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“One glance at [a book] and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time…”Carl Sagan

If you could host a dinner party and invite whomever you wanted, from any era, who are some of the people you’d invite?  Make your list, then head to the library, or check an online library or database.  Chances are you can hear from each person on that list, directly, via the wonders of written words.  And you won’t even have to promise them dinner to enjoy their company.

In fact, we’ve been hearing from all sorts of fascinating people via the quotes on this blog, and a great many of them are no longer living on this earth.  How fortunate we are, that so many wise and witty people took the time to introduce themselves and their ideas to us, by leaving behind books, manuscripts, letters and journals that are still being read today.

How about you?  Are you leaving messages for your grandchildren, great-nieces and nephews, or friends and neighbors who will not meet you for many years hence?  You can talk directly to them with very little effort or expense.  Pick up one of the lovely blank journals available everywhere (I find some beautiful ones for very little money at T. J. Maxx) or start a free blog online.  Or just record your thoughts in an online journal with a word processing program (be sure to save a backup copy to a jump drive or memory card).

And for those who really enjoy writing, self-publishing via print-on-demand or ebook has never been more affordable AND respectable than it is now.  Let’s break the shackles of time by reading and writing.  It is one of our greatest gifts, and it’s been defeating despair for hundreds — no, make that THOUSANDS — of years!

One year ago today:

If you look

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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