Tag Archives: books

Time-Machine Powers

“Books have always been time machines, in a sense. Today, their time-machine powers are even more obvious – and even more inspiring. They can transport us to a pre-internet frame of mind.” – Michael Harris It’s really a bit frightening how quickly the widespread use of the internet, for everything from business to education to …

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To see inside

“Writers aren’t alchemists who transmute words into the aurous essence of the human experience. No, they are glassmakers. They create a work of art that enables us to see inside to help us understand. And if they are really good, we can see our own reflections staring back at us.” ― Kamand Kojouri Whether virtues, faults …

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My way out

“One cliché attached to bookish people is that they are lonely, but for me books were my way out of being lonely. If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength.”― …

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Like someone running

“I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods. What surprised and still surprises me is that there was another side to the forest of stories and the solitude, that I came out that other side and met people there.” — Rebecca Solnit Unlike Solnit, I …

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Can you imagine…?

“My house is full of people escaped from literature. If this is the case in my home, can you imagine how it is in a library?” — Isabel Allende I know exactly what Allende means, because my house– or really wherever I find myself– is also crowded with literary escapees. Look over there in the …

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There sat the world

“I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there sat the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside it.” – Patrick Ness When I was a child, we didn’t have nearly as many children’s …

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The jangled soul can flee

‘Tis fitting in these days of noise, Here in these thunder years of steam, The soul should keep its equipoise And think its thoughts and dream its dream. We scar the placid vales with mills, We scoop the seas and shear the hills: ‘Tis well that to these temples of the mind The jangled soul …

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Conversation partners

“The borders between reading and writing and living are fluid. I do not take time out from life to write, nor do I take time out from life to read. When I quote somebody, I’m not hiding. I’m introducing you to one of my conversation partners.” — Patrick Henry (no, not that one, this one) …

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Go beyond

“…novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings..Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined” — Annie Murphy Paul Even if …

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On gray days

“On gray days, when it’s snowing or raining, I think you should be able to call up a judge and take an oath that you’ll just read a good book all day, and he’d allow you to stay home.” ― Bill Watterson In the winter it’s so easy to become gloomy and depressed. Not surprisingly, I’ve had …

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Where everything is free

“The library is like a candy store where everything is free.” ― Jamie Ford Only it’s better than that, because books won’t rot your teeth, cause blood sugar problems, spoil your appetite for healthy food or make you gain weight you don’t want to gain. Not that candy will necessarily do any of those things, unless you …

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The quickening pollen

“Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.” ― James Russell Lowell If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the term “quickening pollen” might not sound like a good thing. But in the sense that Lowell intended it, the concept is quite exciting. Suppose you could somehow time travel to have …

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The patient seamstress

“Faith is the patient seamstress   who mends our torn belief,   who sews the hem of childhood trust   and clips the threads of grief.”                — Joan Walsh Anglund I think this poem captures the essence of how faith operates in most lives. Some claim to have had …

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Opening the gates

“Books. They are lined up on shelves or stacked on a table. There they are wrapped up in their jackets, lines of neat print on nicely bound pages. They look like such orderly, static things. Then you, the reader come along. You open the book jacket, and it can be like opening the gates to …

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The transporting wonder

“Those of us who know the transporting wonder of a reading life know that…when we read, we are always inside, sheltered in that interior room, that clean, well-lighted, timeless place that is the written word.” – Alice McDermott All of my life, reading has been a shelter for me, and never more so than in …

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A pathological nostalgia

“I had a pathological nostalgia.  I grieved not only for my own rapidly receding childhood but also for the years, ‘the pasts,’ that I would never experience.  The past seemed as real to me as the present, as real as another country.  But unlike another country, its borders were closed…pictures felt like the next best …

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Endless, incredible loot

“The richest person in the world – in fact, all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. You can measure the awareness, the breadth and the wisdom of a civilization, a nation, a people by the priority given to preserving these …

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Books break the shackles

“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 …

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At the mere sight

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” ― Jane Smiley I was quite a few years into adulthood before I realized that the mere presence of books was a comfort to me, even if I didn’t reach out and take one from the shelf.  This seemed a bit …

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No faster or firmer friendships

“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.” ― Irving Stone OK, think of how to describe the friend of your dreams.  The best friend you can imagine. First, and this is a big one – someone who lives close enough that you can get to …

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The articulate audible voice

“In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.” — Thomas Carlyle There’s at least one realm where the past, present and future really do co-exist, and that is in the world of …

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Forever free

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass Matt taught himself to read before he started kindergarten, and throughout his elementary school years, his reading tested at several years above grade level.  Given the severity of some of his other learning challenges, including extremely deficient motor planning and poor neurological …

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Open arms

“A library should be like a pair of open arms.” ― Roger Rosenblatt “So why on earth would you take an eight-month-old baby to a library?” my mother asked me, when I told her how Matt and I had spent the previous day with Grady.  As a retired librarian who specialized in youth services, I …

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Read or learned or picked up

“One of the great joys of being a librarian is that it is the last refuge of the renaissance person — everything you have ever read or learned or picked up is likely to come in handy.” — GraceAnne DeCandido Sometimes I think the term “renaissance person” is too loosely used in the modern sense, …

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The beautiful stillness

“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.” ― Paul Auster Even when life is the craziest and most chaotic, I always read myself to sleep …

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