Tag Archives: reading

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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This is enough

“The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know…Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” ― John Adams I can certainly identify with Adams’ observation about reading, thinking and anxious inquiry. In fact, I’ve noticed that my …

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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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A poet in January

“When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June.” — Jean Paul Friedrich Richter If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know how much I love walking, especially in mild weather. But I think Jean Paul was right about poetry and January, which …

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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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Among these winters

Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive. Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise into the seamless life proclaimed in your …

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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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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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Odd but true

“It’s odd but true that there really is consolation from sad poems, and it’s hard to know how that happens. There is the pleasure of the thing itself, the pleasure of the poem, and somehow it works against sadness.” – Carol Shields When I first read this quote, I thought about the song  “Fast Car” …

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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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Not actually alone

“There are only two things I like to do alone: reading and traveling, and for the same reason.  When you travel, and when you read, you are not actually alone, but rather surrounded by other worlds entirely, the footsteps and phrases of whole other lives keeping you company as you go.” — Shauna Niequist There’s …

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The great cure

“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.” — C. S. Lewis It seems that a great many people don’t like to write, and I find that amazing.  Whether I’m writing a letter, an email, a blog post or …

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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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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

Quai d’Orléans Paris — Photo by Moonik (CC BY-SA 3.0) “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 …

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