The Presence of Books

Friday July 26, 2013

What can the presence of books do for you?

Stay tuned for my fifth favorite, always a quote, and you’ll find out more!

I’m linking up with Susanne of Living to Tell the Story today for Friday's Fave Five, as we count down the blessings of the past week. Won’t you join us?

Here are my favorites this week:
1. Summertime. What would I do if I taught all year long? For one thing, I wouldn’t get near as much writing or planning done, and I’d probably never make it to the doctor. Although it seems this week I’ve gone from one doctor to the other (all checkup type things), I’m thankful that I have this time to do those kinds of things.

2. Family food. I’m no gourmet cook, but I do love cooking for a table of boys who enjoy it. And mine sure do. Having the college boy home during the summer is great—he’s so appreciative for dinner! And one of my gifts to my new daughter-in-law was a family recipe book, and it’s so fun to hear she’s beginning to try recipes out of it, and with success!

3. Two books. In the last two weeks or so, I’ve read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini and am finishing Unwritten by Charles Martin. I loved an earlier book by Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and it made a deep impression on me. I liked And the Mountains Echoed and I’m glad I read it, but it didn’t touch me as much as Suns. Perhaps it was the multiple character points of view or something. The story made the reader think about connections, but it had no where near the hope present in Suns, in my mind. And Unwritten? Well, I just love Charles Martin’s writing. He implies so much about books and reading in the course of the novel, and it's just a great story. He tells you just enough about the characters to keep you reading to find out more. (Susanne, I just noticed you reviewed this book the other day! I skimmed quickly because I have another chapter to go!!)

4. An anniversary gift. I should have posted this in June, but it was the day after the big family wedding, and I wasn’t posting anything! We were traveling and busy and I figured I’d wait. My hubby did the sweetest thing. When I was a child, I remember my grandmother wearing an opal ring. The gold was “soft,” she said, and she was always losing a little opal. (I have a childhood memory of searching through the gravel in the driveway to try to find one.) She left me that ring (opal is my birthstone), and for years I’ve said I should have it put into a secure setting and made into a necklace. Guess who figured out that the 35th anniversary would be a good time to surprise me with that? One of the sweetest things he has ever done. I just love it...and him!

5. This quote: (It explains the pile beside my bed.)

“Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity… We cherish books. Even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access, reassurance." (A. E. Newton)

“The buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.” Isn’t that cool? The last line really gets me, though—“even if unread, their presence exudes comfort.”

Hope you’re enjoying your summer.

Wishing you more books than you can read this week,


Linda Stoll said...

Yes, yes, yes to books, Laura! The kind with paper pages, yellowed at the edges, with a history, a story to tell ...

Heather said...

I love to cook too,though I'm not a gourmet cook either! :) I know you love having your college boy home!

I just finished 2 books. I am hoping to finish some more soon.

How sweet of your husband! I know how special that was to you.

We have a lot of books and I think you are right, the presence of them is comforting.

Unknown said...

i've read so many great books this summer. the Hoessini was one of the m. i think my favorite so far was "My Beloved World" by Sonia Sotomayor. Great, great story.

Karen said...

I just love that quote. It helps me understand why I love being surrounded by so many books. And why I need to keep buying them! (Wait, wasn't that the point?)

Second reference to Charles Martin that I've seen this week. I need to look for more of his books. When Crickets Cry is the only one I've read, but boy was it good.

Have a great weekend, Laura.

Barbara H. said...

I wish my husband understood that about books. He's more of a "when I read 'em, I'm done with 'em" kind of guy. But he does humor my collections. And I agree, they're a comfort even unread.

I just read Susanne's review of Unwritten. I do love his writing, though I did disagree with a bit of his theology in the one book of his I had read, but I do want to read more.

Even though cooking isn't my favorite thing, I do enjoy preparing favorite dishes, especially when everyone is home.

What a sweet and thoughtful anniversary gift!

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Summertime and family food are two of my favorites also. I love being with my family more than anything. What a sweet and thoughtful thing for your husband to do for you.

Faith said...

Yay for books!, I read The Kite Runner and am on the list for this latest one. I'm also waiting for the town library to find me the Charles Martin book that Susanne (FFF) had done a review on a while back..the one about the stranded couple set in Utah I think. I've never read his books. I'm reading the House Girl right now and it is excellent, about slavery and how a plantation owner passes off the slave girl's art as her known. It has 2 time periods in the story..the present and 1852 ..I highly recommend it! I love summer too and glad I don't work in these months. I had all my physical/yearly appointments last week and have one more after our vacation! sure is helpful having the summer off and a true blessing! Enjoy your weekend!

Jerralea said...

What a thoughtful thing for your hubby to do!

Unwritten is the second book of Charles Martin's that I've read. I enjoyed it very much.

I'm a big fan of piles of books everywhere!

Gattina said...

What a great gift ! and what an excellent idea !
I used to love cooking but now I became very lazy ! My motto is easy and healthy and not more then 15 min cooking !

Susanne said...

I think I want to frame that quote! I love books and I love my little book piles. They make me smile and excited to get to them. But my hubby? Not so much. He's sees them more as dust collectors and clutter. Sigh. He's more like Barbara's hubby. I loved the Charles Martin book. I've read about 4 of his stories now and plan to get through them all.

What an incredibly thoughtful and sweet gift your hubby gave you!

I love cooking for my family because they are so complimentary and enjoy it so much. It's a great motivator.

Hazel said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns - I noticed it from somewhere, maybe in one of those bloggity friends' book recommendations on Thursdays. Will check that out. I soooo agree with the quote. I hoard books!



Our book loving family is trying hard to pare down our stash ... but I still love your book quote about piles of books.


Shonya said...

LOVE that quote ;) I, too, am a Khaled Hosseini fan, but maintain The Kite Runner is his most well-written work.

Lisa notes... said...

You make me feel so happy it is summertime. It's my favorite season.

I love the book quotes, of course. I was dragging quite a stack with me from the bedroom to the living for some "light reading" this afternoon, and I'm loving every second of it. :-)

nikkipolani said...

What a perfect quote for a book lover! You are certainly enjoying every drop of summertime.

I'm so pleased your family cookbook is getting used and enjoyed.

Annette Whipple said...

WOW! The ring is incredibly thoughtful...a gift you will always cherish.

I just put Suns on hold (audio book). I couldn't finish The Kite Runner, but many said it was worth finishing.

Enjoy your writing days of summer!

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