‘Sunday Thoughts ~ “. . .Books Are Humanity In Print.”

“Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later ~ no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget ~ we will return.“ ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón, “The Shadow of the Wind”

image Art by, Leonid Afremov

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  As I write this (Saturday, 2-19) snowflakes are falling.  Not a big storm, just howling winds and quite cold.  Yes, winter is still here in West Virginia.  However, tomorrow we are promised mild temperatures and sunny skies.  I hope you will see the same.

A few weeks ago, I told you how dreadful it is for me to put Christmas away.  Although, Christmas remains in my heart every day and the spirit keeps me going forward.  But I want you to know ‘mission was accomplished’ and Christmas is now stored in its long deep closet under the basement stairs.  Old houses do have hidden treasures and secrets.

With Christmas tucked away, today I want to talk about my books.  They are my dear friends and I have done a bit of research that I hope you will find interesting.  It helped me realize that I have not lost my mind and that my books are indeed riches.  Hopefully, yours are too.

“Books are the carriers of civilization…They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.” ~Barbara W. Tuchman.

In the late fall, I promised myself that I would reorganize Christmas ornaments (done), would go through the huge cedar closet upstairs, and the books.  The last two items have not been touched.  And these last two items are too large to accomplish both of them before spring.  Therefore, I chose the huge closet (what I refer to as, ‘the black hole’) which I plan to begin work on this upcoming week. 

I am not alone in my love of books or how difficult it is to sort them and find them another home.  Several of my blogging friends also have this issue.  One such friend is Bren who writes the beautiful blog, “It Is Still A Beautiful Life.”  Bren recently wrote a lovely two-part post about her books and she gave me great inspiration to sort through mine, a next winter project.  Perhaps her post will inspire you as well.   visit here.

“Books cannot be killed by fire.  People die, but books never die.  No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever.  No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny.  In this war, we know, books are weapons.”  ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Often, I look at my many books and I think, “Have I gone around the bend to treasure them so?”  But then I read that in our upside-down world, restricting access to certain books has once again become a ‘trendy’ thing to do.  And, I realize that we are in danger, once again, by these actions. 

Understand, I realize the restricting of access to certain books may be necessary in such places as school libraries and others I am probably not familiar with.  However, we must be careful.  When we restrict access to books we are in danger of not learning.  When we don’t learn we may become self-absorbed and narrow-minded and we can close ourselves off to the beauty of other people, places, and cultures.    All are dangerous in our world today.

image A boy sits reading in a bombed bookstore, London, October, 8 1940

And, I realize that even more when I see a photo such as the one above of the young boy and how important reading must have been to him. To be sitting in such a place for the opportunity to read.   By the way, 1940 was not that many years ago. 

“There are stores that enrich the streets with their presence, and the most precious of them are the shops that sells old books!”~ Mehmet Murat ildan

To come across a bookshop that sells old books is a delightful treat.  Old books are special and even though they may be from a different era they still have remarkable information that pertains to our world today.

A bookstore I would love to visit is Shakespeare and Company, located in Paris in the 5th arrondissement (a subdivision). The store was established in 1951.

Shakespeare & Co. Paris bookshop ph. Dieter Krehbiel

A wee glimpse inside Shakespeare and Company.

There are many interesting and wonderful bookstores throughout our country and the world.  One that intrigues me is the one above.  Dog Eared Books, located in San Francisco.

The Abbey Book Store also looks inviting to a book lover. The shop is owned by a Canadian in Paris’s Latin Quarter and opened in 1989.  The shop has over 30,000 books.

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.” ~ Agatha Christie


I have no idea where this is.  Is it a shop or is it a place of storage?  It would be a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon and of fun to roam around in such a place.  But, if there is an inventory I am thankful it wasn’t my job to prepare such a document.

“We’re all strangers connected by what we reveal, what we share, what we take away ~ our stories. I guess that’s what I love about books ~ they are thin strands of humanity that tether us to one another for a small bit of time, that make us feel less alone or even more comfortable with our aloneness, if need be.” ~ Libba Bray



“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” ~Mortimer J. Adler

“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom): Montgomery, L. M.: 9780147514004: Amazon.com: Books

Tasha Tudor and Family - Child's Garden of Verses



Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales by Tudor, Tasha (Illus); Fairy Tales: Very Good Pictorial Boards (1965) Early Edition. | E. M. Maurice Books, ABAA
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ~ Emilie Buchwald
What our children read is vitally important to them for their enjoyment as a child and to help instill their love of reading throughout their life.  However, our world is a scary place, and as adults, we must absolutely know what our children are reading.  The advice from George Bernand Shaw is the best I have read.  There are many wonderful authors of children’s books, both old and new ~ give them a read.

“If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Dear friends, I do hope you have enjoyed my post and that I have not exhausted you to the brink on the subject.  It was my intention to give you a little insight into myself, something which is out of my comfort zone.  Hopefully, I have been successful and possibly given you le inspiration should you not be an avid reader.  

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day

And. . .

May beautiful words find you wherever you are.  Write them down ~ won’t you?

We are like books. Most people only see our cover, the minority read only the introduction, many people believe the critics. Few will know our content. - Émile Zola


“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” ~ Alan Bennett 


I will leave you with something wonderful that happened to me yesterday.  I received a splendid gift from my special friend of many years, Janice.  She sent me “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain as she knew it was on my list to read.  She is such a thoughtful friend and will be with me while I am reading and every time I see the book.  It will certainly be one I do not part with.  Books do tie us together.







Images: Tumblr















12 thoughts on “‘Sunday Thoughts ~ “. . .Books Are Humanity In Print.”

  1. A book is the finest gift to give a friend, a book they want or about something they love, or about something that means something special to the one giving. I’m like you — managing books is so difficult. I find them hard to part with, for the most part. I have some I will trade with a friend when done; some that will go to Goodwill, others I might resale. But there are far too many that will be on my shelves indefinitely — I may or may not revisit them again, I may loan them to someone (who will forget to give them back–I’m very picky about that now!) but they will be heresurrounding me with their stories. Baffling mysteries, lives led, experiences shared, places to visit, art to discover again and again. They have a life of their own.

  2. I have been to Shakespeare and Company and it was wonderful. There is another bookstore that I loved in Denver, Co, called The Tattered Cover. I always enjoy browsing through bookstores when traveling.

    1. Oh, Penny, I know visiting Shakespeare and Company was a marvelous experience. Did you have to be removed from the store? I probably would have.

  3. Dear Sandra,

    Those bookstores you mention and show photos of, oh my, I want to visit them. You’ve shared some lovely thoughts from your heart about the beauty and wonder of books in our lives. I enjoyed my visit with you. And thank you, from my heart, for linking my blog post about my own thoughts about books in your post today.

    What a delightful surprise to be given that book from your dear friend, Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain. Perfect timing!

    Wishing you a beautiful week ahead.
    Bren xo

    1. Dear Brenda, it was a pleasure to link your beautiful blog to my post. Everything you write is beautiful and you always seem to say what I am feeling.

      It was a surprise and a pure delight to receive the book from my friend. She is a gem.

  4. How sweet of your friend to give you the special book.
    It would be nice to have a list of all the books I have read. My husband reads books on tape so he has a record of the ones he has listened to from Audible.
    It is pleasurable to loan books to friends that you have enjoyed and read.
    Lots of thought-provoking quotes today.

    1. I agree with you about having a list of the books I have read. It would be an interesting list for certain. Thank you for your kind comments and it truly was a special gift from my friend. She is lovely inside and out.

  5. Sandra, I have loved books since I was in first grade and my sweet Daddy took me to the public library to get my first library card. Your post truly resonated with me because I also love books. I have been an avid reader all of my adult life. I always have a book that I am reading, if only I had kept up with every book that I have read. I know you were happy when your friend gifted you “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain. Thank you for this lovely post ♥️

    1. Pam, I love your story about your library and your Daddy. We have an old home (huge) a civil war mansion that is or was our public library before they built a new one beside it. The beautiful old home was my first library and was where I spent many hours doing research in high school. For those of us who love books, we couldn’t imagine life without them. And without our dear friends who give us special books.

  6. I loved reading you post this morning, sweet Sandra! Books are such a wonderful thing. When my children were little they loved to collect them and would read them over and over. When my daughter, Caroline, was little Kindles were popular. She did not want to have anything to do with them. She said she preferred a real book because of the way it felt and smelled, I have to say I agreed with her. I love to read, but often find it difficult to make the time. You have inspired me to make more of an effort. Wishing you a lovely day and week ahead, dear friend!

    1. Shannon, it is difficult to find time to read, but it is certainly worth the effort. I do agree with Caroline, she is a smart girl. There is nothing like a real book. Have a lovely week and thanks so much for your visit.

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