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Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

Libraries

 
  
 

 

 

I have just been reading Crystal Paine’s Biblical Womanhood blog. She was teaching on frugal living. If you have to, want to, or believe you should live frugally, spending less than you do, she can probably tell you several ways how.
 

One of her points was that she gets books from the library, even through interlibrary loans, instead of buying them. She even does this for her young daughters. (I know for a fact that she owns a few books, considered school books, that teach sign language or catechism.) From a woman who writes and sells books, I find this an ironic confession.


For myself, I’m a writer. Someday I intend to publish something and get paid for it. In the mean time I blog, for free, and spend all my writing energy doing this much easier exercise instead of putting together a book. Yet I sympathize with authors, feel for the mass of books out there as competition. On top of all this we add libraries.

So here is my solution, killing two birds with one stone. I use the libraries. In this way I discover whether a book is worth purchase. (If it wasn’t worth purchase to anyone, it ought not have been written. But some people purchase unworthy books – like all the romance novels we see at garage sales and used bookstores.) After reading a book that I like, I will usually add it to my list to buy. There are a few instances in which I will buy a book without reading it: I trust the author, I trust a reviewer, I trust the store, or I get a really good deal. Which brings up the fault in my reasoning. I would much prefer to own secondhand books than to pay full price in most cases, especially if the author is already mainstream. Some books I see as supporting a ministry when I purchase them full price as directly as possible from the authors.

All this to say I am almost never completely frugal with books. I would not want to have the library own all of my favorites for me. Though I am willing to live in an inexpensive apartment my whole life, and to not eat at fancy restaurants, and not buy new clothes (or many clothes). Though I can resist going to the movies, or buying frivolous things; I have every intention of owning shelves and shelves of books. To this end I never refuse to spend money on a good book. And I have stacks of books in my room.

Just recently I cleaned and rearranged my room in order to shelve all of the recent purchases that had been stacked on my floor. Immediately following this burst of energy and organization, I went out and bought stacks more books. Stacks. And then I went to the library, where I checked out seven large books as research for my writing. (One of them is about Iceland in the Middle Ages, and has me all bound up in that world; look for the review!) So my floor is just as covered as ever with books for my library.

If I ever move or get very organized (and ambitious: buy new shelves, rearrange my whole room…), I will take massive pictures for you. In the mean time this is what you get.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I finished a couple books that I haven’t reviewed yet.  One was by G.K. Chesterton, a genius who despised Protestants without ever really disagreeing with them.  Ok, but that’s not why I was reading him.  He wrote about marriage, home, and family, with great common sense.  Sometimes we say insight, and we mean something little.  I want to say prophetic in that intangible, surreal sense, but that’s strange.  He got into an issue and saw outside of it so that he could make points that should be so obvious, but none of the rest of us could see because we were busy arguing the points the wrong people were making to distract us from our strongest case.  So that was good, and beautiful, and challenging. 
 
Side note here to transition into the next book review.  I love reading books because they inspire me, make me think, or challenge me.  Books, unlike the majority of people I know, will tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I ought to do.  This is why I read books about relationships.  Maybe I’ll be burned by thinking I have all the answers, but in the mean time it makes me want to live a life preparing for the ideal romance and marriage – if I could just figure out what ideal was.  And for the moment, I have no firm idea of what an ideal man looks like to me either.  I think I have to meet him.  It’s like The Witch of Blackbird Pond says: Kit had to stop planning and start waiting.  The reason was, she would find out, a lot of these details are not a lady’s to figure, but the gentleman’s.  Letting other people make the decisions when they affect you is hard, but relaxing.  I did a lot of that this week. 
 
So I did just finish The Witch of Blackbird Pond, making a whole two books I’ve read with “Witch” in the title.  The first was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a book that my mom probably first read to me, and then I read it.  When your mom gives you a book as a kid, you think there could be nothing wrong with it.  That’s a good reason for rereading books when you’re smarter.  (So many people like CS Lewis, but his theology wasn’t always biblical; he never bothered to study the Bible, I think.)  Anyway, I would never have picked up this book either, but for a friend recommending it and saying how real the characters were.  It came from my library’s young adult section, which I think is sad because adults are not encouraged to read these really good books that would do them more good than they do kids.  It was short, though, so it would have looked strange next to the three hundred page hardbacks in the adult section. 
 
I’d say the book is about making choices, and the freedom that comes from doing the right thing even when you don’t understand what’s going on.  And it has to do with contentment and waiting and hard work.  I see my friend, who recommended the book, in the pages.  It’s the kind of thing she would like and live – and the kind of thing I would like and try to live. 
 
So some people think I’m perfect.  I don’t know what I have to do to convince them I’m not.  What’s more, they think I’ll despise them for their weaknesses or desires.  All my life I’ve determined not to forget who I was and what it was like to be younger.  For example, I remember how very serious everything was in my life, and how sure I was of my ideas, and even now it isn’t so much that I was wrong as that I didn’t see the whole picture.  I desperately wanted someone to help me out with the big picture, but I guess not enough because I wouldn’t ask anyone.  This to say that I wanted to remember feeling those things so that I could relate to young people.  And I never wondered how I would clue kids in that I knew: that I hadn’t forgotten, that even though I’m not entirely normal, I had some of the universal experiences. 
 
I think of some of my friends not so much as perfect, but as good.  They love Jesus and they are willing to make right choices – the kind that don’t radically mess up their lives – but they struggle with the choices, and sometimes fail.  My friend who likes Blackbird Pond is one of those.  And now that I think about it, that’s probably one of the things I’m looking for in the man I’ll marry: that he’ll be good (but as Anne says, with the capability of wickedness which he denies) but struggle, and sometimes fail.  I’ve never loved a person before I knew some of their faults.  Weird, huh? 
 
So even novels I read, even the romantic ones that send me to long drives talking to God about waiting and “Where is he?” – are challenging.  Because The Witch of Blackbird Pond was about waiting and serving and looking at what is and what I can do instead of what might be or isn’t and what I can’t do (yet), and because it came packaged in a daydreamy story, I’m inspired.  Now if only I wasn’t so exhausted from a trip across two time zones… 
 
And the number one question on my mind is what to read next.  Seriously, I have a stack.  But I didn’t have to tell you that again, did I? 
 
Hey – in case you’re one of those people who thinks I’m perfect, I’m going to confess.  Maybe I should have confession Fridays or something.  = )  How’s that for a blog series?  Anyway, we were at the beach and I was feeling dreadful, but our group was taking pictures, and as I threw down my hat and jacket on the sand, I exclaimed that I had no idea how I looked, and asked a dear friend if I looked beautiful.  The other night she’d told me I did when I, a reflection recently refreshed in my memory, did not think so.  But honestly.  How immodest.  To beg for flattery even just privately from her would have been wrong.  In front of everyone?  Arg.  Not perfect.  Proud.  Vain.  Immodest.  Quick-tongued.  Self-focused.  Didn’t do personal devotions all week either.  I thought it was ok, and it was in an anti-legalist sense, but I think it would have helped to hear from Jesus. 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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