Saturday, August 28, 2010

'Let us read, think and write' - James Adams

What makes books so charming? Even if I just stroke my hand over the cover, wonder about the author's unusual names or admire the picture of the author inside, they always leave me with food for thought. When I visit a new friend, I often have a peep at her bookshelf and the books she chooses. Why? Well, that could give away a whole lot about her!

I always tend to be busy with books. I help out at the school library, the church library and sometimes other charity bookshops. I find comfort in these spaces where I am surrounded by books. Even when they smell musty or the dust make me sneeze, they leave me soothed and inspired.

Some people see books as trusted friends. They are able to speak to you in different ways. They can take you to travel destinations that you might never reach, they can teach you much about life, the past and others. Yes, books make me feel rich - I agree with Thomas Babington Macauly who said, 'I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than be a king without the desire to read'. I have to admit that I have, at times, skipped a meal or not bought a new lipstick so that I could afford that new book.

I always imagine that readers are good, kind and giving people. I am involved with a group of avid readers who read a book and then leave it for someone to find, whether it be in a coffee shop or on a park bench. We are called 'bookcrossers'.

When I'm on road trips and do a quick stop in a new town, I always wonder where their library could be and what it's like. I thank my parents for reading to me from an early age as I have done the same with my own children. I am sure the talented authors out there are appreciative of us, their audience too - what would their thoughts mean if we did not read them! That brings me to the most wonderful author of all - the One who wrote the Bible which has been proved to be the first printed book ever!

PS I asked my husband to edit this piece for me which he did and then he showed me a poem he wrote while passing time at a coffee shop at Exclusive books. Mmmm, great minds think alike! I added it with his permission.


Surrounded by shelves, more than four hundred
Surrounded by books, more than ten thousand
Surrounded by words, More than ten million
Surrounded by stories, facts, figures and pictures

Each cover carefully designed luring like a moth to a light
Each story carefully constructed to thrill and delight
Each author satisfied by the fruits of their labour
Each reader gifted with a story to savour

How many books have ever been written?
How many words committed to paper?
How many stories have ever been told?
How many books have ever been sold?

The spoken word, spoken and lost
The spoken word, never to be unsaid
The spoken word, with beginning and end
The spoken word, for no one to lend

The written word, captured forever
The written word, edited to perfection
The written word, having life without end
The written word, to possess and to lend

Books, as living as they are, will never know
their worth like the authors who penned them

© Andrew J Smith 23 June 2009 All rights reserved


  1. Love the bookcrossers idea. And Andrew's poem makes me think, since I am one who deals with both spoken and written word...interesting comparisons. Thanks.

  2. Wow, two talented writers! Will you publish more of Andy's poems?

  3. Hi Trix, you have written a myriad of posts since I last visited your blog - all so inspiring. Lovely!

  4. Dit is heerlik om te lees, Theresa ek dink dis 'n gawe om so te kyk na dinge. Ek het andy se gedig ook baie geniet!

  5. In this cyber-age, that finds it incomprehensible that one would "waste time with books" I too, find that they become ever more precious to me.
    Especially in devotional reading or studying: the actual pages become something treasured - I get the thing about smoothing the pages - its almost like caressing them, isn't it?
    As you would smooth the hair of a beloved child?

    Ooops, I think I'm waxing too lyrical :-)
    But I guess you will have picked up that I agree with you!

  6. Books have always played an important part in my life, so its no wonder that i too was drawn to the concept of bookcrossings...I love the idea of leaving a book somewhere for some random person to discover, read and release if they so desire. We recently moved into a much smaller house than what we were used to and the only thing that worried me was the fact that i might not have fitted my floor to ceiling bookshelf in it. When it came to choosing to have a fireplace or my bookshelf, it was not hard at all..the bookshelf won hands down!! I too love libraries, and oh the joy of opening a brand new book by a favourite author, the feel of the smooth glossy cover, the smell of the new pages...nothing can compare. Theresa, i find your writings so soothing ....keep at it!!