“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he re-reads.” – Francois Mauriac
I used to reread books, but lately have way too many books on my shelves to take the time to read old favorites. The problem is that if I don’t reread them then the effect of them is lost and that is sad. Recently I came across some notes I’d made when I was reading Emerson years ago and was reminded of feelings long forgotten. So, in the next few weeks I think I’ll take a look at a few Emerson essays.
So, what about you? Do you have favorites that you read over and over again or do you always find yourself rereading something new?
“Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance required is interest.” -Lady Bird Johnson
Last week the Cleveland Plain Dealer did a story about the increased use of the local libraries. Some already know everything that libraries have to offer, while some think there are just lots of books. If you haven’t been to your local library lately I suggest that you visit soon and see what’s there. There are books (surely), movies (of course), cds of music and books (without a doubt), but you will also find a multitude of other things. There are programs for adults and kids, computers to use for free, paid subscriptions to online websites, old magazines (great to get ideas if you are renovating a room in your house like me), games…the list goes on and on. And if you are having trouble finding what you’re looking for go to the reference desk and ask for help (maybe the person helping you will be me!).
Anyway, it is a great way for you and your family to spend an hour or two and it will also save you money. And since your tax dollars are already funding the library, why not take advantage of everything it has to offer. I saw a man come in today, sit down at a table, pull out his own book to read, and stay for a few hours enjoying the library without ever checking out a book. That is a dedicated patron!
“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges
“The misuse of language induces evil in the soul.” -Socrates
“Language is the dress of thought.” -Samuel Johnson
“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.” -George Orwell
I cannot live without books.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, 1815
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain
There is a website for those of you who think you do not have time to read. Visit www.dailylit.com and choose from a wide range of books. The site will email you a small portion of the book each day that takes less than five minutes to read. Many of the books are free, although some of them do cost money. I decided to try it with a short classic, The Prince. I signed up yesterday and it took me one minute. Really. If you feel like reading more you can request the next installment be emailed to you immediately. It’s largest categories are classics, contemporaries and romance, but there are many more. Take a look and tell me what book you chose to start reading today.
1. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. Jason, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by Rowling
2. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Mark, The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
3. Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her. HINT: This was the beginning of a famous movie trilogy. Amy, The Godfather by Puzo
4. At a village of La Mancha, whose name I do not wish to remember, there lived a little while ago one of those gentlemen who are wont to keep a lance in the rack, an old buckler, a lean horse and a swift greyhound. DON QUIXOTE by Cervantes
5. The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY by Clarke
6. Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood. THE DIVINE COMEDY, INFERNO by Dante Alighieri
7. Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery. Mark, The DaVinci Code by Brown
8. Call me Ishmael. Jason, Moby Dick by Melville
9. All children, except one, grow up. PETER PAN by Barrie
10. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Amy, Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison
A house without books is like a room without windows. ~Heinrich Mann
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. ~W. Somerset Maugham
I’ve posted the answers to Who Am I if you want to check them out.
Here’s how to play…Identify the first lines of these famous novels by telling me what book it’s from. Leave a comment with the # of the first line and the title of the book and I’ll cross it off the list. No Googling, that’s cheating and no fun! If you know them all, please don’t guess every one, maybe five max?
1. It was a pleasure to burn. Jason, Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury
2. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Janet, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
3. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. The Bell Jar by Plath
4. I am an invisible man. Jason, Invisible Man by Ellison
5. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Carol, Pride & Prejudice by Austen
6. What can you say about a 25 year old girl who died? Love Story by Segal
7. Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Mark, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by Lewis
8. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. Mark, The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger
9. As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. Mark, The Metamorphosis by Kafka
10. You better not never tell nobody but God. The Color Purple by Walker
CHECK BACK NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT ONE. CONGRATS TO GOLDA!
Here’s how to play…Identify the quote by telling me what book it’s from. Leave a comment with the # of the quote and the title of the book and I’ll cross it off the list.
Here’s a hint, these five quotes came from the first 21 books on my Favorite 100 list.
#1 “It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.” Golda-To Kill a Mockingbird
#2 “Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher. There was just that minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head!” Golda- Harry Potter
#3 “And was Mr. Rochester now ugly in my eyes? No reader: gratitude and many associates, all pleasurable and genial, made his face the object I best liked to see; his presence in a room was more cheering than the brightest fire.” Golda- Jane Eyre
#4 “One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” Fellowship of the Ring – Jason
#5 “Rabbits need dignity and above all else the will to accept their fate.” Golda- Watership Down