Tag Archives: reading

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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Incredible power

“Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, and they can make people’s hearts sore.” – Mardy Grothe Never underestimate the effect words can have, for better or worse.  The Bible’s book of James (chapter 3) is one of many sources of wisdom that remind us of the importance of guarding what we …

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Outwardly and inwardly

“To live fully, outwardly and inwardly, not to ignore the external reality for the sake of the inner life, or the reverse, that’s quite a task.” — Etty Hillesum Of all the frustrations I feel about time constraints, perhaps none is greater than wishing I had the time to stay in closer touch with so …

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This bequest of wings

“He ate and drank the precious words, His spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, Nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days, And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty A loosened spirit brings!” ― Emily Dickinson If you are reading this blog, …

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Recognize each other

“Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.  People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.” — Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger, in …

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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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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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Time and culture

“You’ve got to marinate your head, in that time and culture. You’ve got to become them.” ― David McCullough I think one of the best and quickest ways to defeat despair is to read a bit of history and contemplate what life used to be like.  I’ve found that nonfiction often seems best for this, …

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Home for the holidays

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays…” — Al Stillman As of last night, we are HOME.  Though we are exhausted, I can’t remember a time when we’ve been happier to be here!  Thanks for being here with us! One year ago today Like of each thing This post was first published seven …

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If you look

“If you look at an illuminated manuscript, even today, it just blows your mind.  For them, without all the clutter and inputs that we have, it must have been even more extraordinary.”  — Geraldine Brooks I started reading aloud to our sons when they were babies, and kept it up nightly until they were in …

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What really knocks me out

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” — J. D. Salinger Who comes to mind when you read this quote?  …

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The most powerful drug

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling I don’t remember when I first realized that not everyone was as fascinated by words as I am, but it’s something that I still don’t fully understand.  I have always been so drawn to words; their meaning, their rhythms and sounds, the …

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A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

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Irrevocably a reader

“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.” — Alberto Manguel It’s never to late to have this magical instant happen in your life.  …

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But then you read

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”  — James Baldwin Although …

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Read them fairy tales

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” — attributed to Albert Einstein I could not verify that the quote above actually came from Einstein, but countless sources verify his more famous statement that “imagination is more important …

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A light from the shadows

“From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring…”  — J.R.R. Tolkien These lines are from a poem I have loved for many years.  It appears in the first book of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings, but its message has an enduring appeal whether or not one has read …

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The safekeeping of enchantment

“I have always felt charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly or unworldly enchantment, as though I might be held personally responsible if even a small one were to be lost.” — E. B. White The unforgettable writer who gave us Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan certainly …

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How we remember

“How we remember, what we remember and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality.” — Christina Baldwin Among the countless ways my sister has blessed my life, one comes to mind often: she read to me and taught me to read.  Over fifty years later, I have wonderful memories of the …

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A delightful society

“Books are delightful society.  If you go into a room and find it full of books – even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome.”  ―    William Ewart Gladstone From the most magnificent libraries to the humblest bookshelves, I feel at home wherever there are books.  …

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Reading opened the world

“Books were once my refuge…To read was to disappear, become enrobed in something beyond my own jittery ego. To read was to shutter myself and, in so doing, discover a larger experience. I do think old, book-oriented styles of reading opened the world to me – by closing it. And new, screen-oriented styles of reading …

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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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