Friday, 15 April 2022

The Other Side of the Bookworm

It's not hoarding
if it's books.

Several years ago I boxed up several boxes of books and gave them away. Since then, a few others have been gifted, while others were loaned out and never found their way home. More recently I got inspired to count the volumes in my home library. Much to my surprise, they still numbered just over 1000 books. 


While most are English, there are also a few other languages represented, including some Spanish, German, Latin, Hebrew, Greek and other ancient languages. There is even an elementary grammar of the Assyrian language in cuneiform type (which I have yet to figure out). The oldest, and most fragile, book in my collection dates to the year 1771 CE.


The library features a variety of theology and philosophy, history and historical novels. There are assorted reference works, famous biographies and language studies. Family authored and published books further complement the collection. There are even some volumes found on banned book lists (though I have never understood the logic or wisdom of banning books). Some books have been inherited and others are destined to be bequeathed, since I am neither the first generation bookworm nor last in my family. Just as I still have my eye on some books in my father's library, my son also has his eye on some in mine. Perhaps there will be a bibliophile or two in future family generations as well. I hope so.


Cataloguing and organizing is a never ending chore, but an enjoyable one. Like all hobbies, for me books are not only a relaxing pastime, but an opportunity to continue something my parents taught us from an early age: lifelong learning. I am thankful for that example of theirs. The fact is, however, life is too short to read and learn everything that still remains on my bucket list. Perhaps that explains why bookworms regularly have two or three books on the go at any given time. That's certainly true in our home.


A biblical writer once wrote, "Of making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12). I am reminded of this every time I visit another of my favourite places; a local used bookstore owned and operated by a friend of mine. It is hard not to walk out of her store without another awesome discovery or two tucked under my arm. The downside, if I can call it that, is that inevitably more shelves will have to be built. In my way of thinking, however, that's not a bad problem; I already have an idea where the next shelf can go. As someone is quoted to have said, "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy books. That's kind of the same thing." I like that.




Finally, in closing I leave you with a quote attributed to Mark Twain: "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." What good books have you read lately? Thanks for the visit. Peace.

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