The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

09 July 2012

Of candy stores and, well, books

Can you imagine what it is like for a lover of books to work in a library?  How giddy-making it is to have all those volumes filled with words, ideas, information right there, free for the taking. There are rows upon rows of just cookbooks, for pity's sake, let alone books about travel, or biographies, or learning a new language, or, if such things take your fancy, programing in C++ (whatever that may be, that section of the library has a fair bit of real estate).

And that is only one floor!  There is a whole other devoted to fiction of all sorts, hard covered, paper backed, large printed, spoken on CD, or new fangled e format. (Please, please don't tell me you've embraced the noxious e-reader) (And why is everything 'e' this and 'i' that these days?)

Before I undertook to work at this library, I challenged myself to buy no new books until I had finally read all the unread volumes already sitting on my shelves. I foresaw a year of Dante and Von Hildebrand, Cervantes and Newman.  And I mean to read them, I really do.  I meant it when I bought them, and I mean it now.

However.  I now work in a candy store - which is what a library is to a bookworm. I've gone right to the source, my supplier, the pusher of my addiction. Every single day I am in that building, I find yet another book I just have to bring home with me or at the very least put on a list of books to remember for later.  For when I don't have anything to read. (HA!)

The trouble is, my eyes are bigger than my bookshelves. There is only so much room, even for borrowed books.  And only so much time.  Even a librarian must eventually bring them back.

Here are two of the most recent books that followed me home:

The Touch by Randall Wallace, screenwriter of Braveheart. This was a beautiful, simple story of faith, hope, and love in the life of a doctor in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a physical attraction at first, as I was drawn to the books small stature; it fits perfectly into my hands, and feels like an intimate, comfortable read.  There are many wonderful passages dealing with God, and the roles of faith, hope, and love in our lives. The first I came across told me just what kind of book this was:
" I don't need to understand. Nobody does. There are only two things anyone must know: there is a God, and that God loves us. That is all we need to know."
Right there on the shelf, for anyone to stumble on and read for themselves, is this One Great Truth. Imagine the gems waiting in other books!

The Shoemaker's Wife
The second I want to share with you, for a different reason (though it too, has Catholic overtones) is from one of my favourite contemporary authors, Adriana Trigiani, titled The Shoemaker's Wife.

Isn't it a beautiful looking book? Even if I didn't know her writing, this book would have tempted me to lift it off the shelf. I would have forgiven it not being terribly well written for its cover alone.  But Adriana Trigiani is a fine writer of interesting, light hearted stories about Italian Americans. Though they take place in different times and different places, there is nearly always a taste of Italy involved, and the characters at the very least culturally Catholic.  I've only just begun, and am savouring the pages.

I'll get to Dante next.  Really.


  1. Forget candy stores; give me a job in a library any day. And I'd be fired the next day, as lines of potential borrowers listened to my pleas for "just a minute to read one more page..."

  2. Oh Nancy, it sounds funny, but it is absolutely true! As people ask me to help them find a certain book, I write myself little notes so I can add to my "what to read next" list. I spend my breaks trolling the 'recently returned' carts for books to bring home. I have access to magazines, movies, and music. There is no better job than this!