“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”
That prognostic quote by Erasmus Desiderius describes me to a tee. I love books the way some folk crave chocolate, and collecting them has been my passion since childhood when I promised myself that one day I would have my own personal library.
A driving quest for knowledge and adventure fueled my rapid advancement from primers to encyclopedias. By the time I was in my twenties I had accumulated over 300 books and at one period in my life I truthfully boasted to anyone who asked that I had read every book I owned.
Over the years, as my collection grew by a few thousand, my passion for book buying soon surpassed the time I had to read them. Subsequently, my treasures began taking over my small apartment like autumn leaves lay claim to a lawn. I stockpiled books in boxes on the closet shelves and floor, and inside plastic containers placed under my bed. Box upon box of books occupied nooks and crannies everywhere in my home, and whenever I went out, I always tucked a book in my shoulder bag to read along the way.
My area of interest has varied by decade. In the 1960s, Harlequin and other romance novels held my attention, until I abruptly switched to volumes on social issues and history. During the late seventies, I added Sci-Fi and bone-chilling horror tales by story-tellers Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I felt compelled to educate myself about technology in the 1980’s, and bought computer manuals to sharpen my skills. Health consciousness and maturity has made me an avid devotee to publications on fitness and nutrition in recent years, but I remain open to anything that will enlighten, educate or entertain me.
I will always have a love affair with books, I just don’t buy them as often as used to, but occasionally while browsing in a book store, I yield to the temptation to purchase a popular hard cover or paperback. I considered buying a Kindle, but decided that carrying it around would still be like toting a book. However, I have been liberated by audio books; downloading a bestseller to my IPod not only feeds my habit, but lightens the load.
“A family that prays together stays together” or so says the proverb. Supposedly, the idea behind that principle is that the family unit is a faith-based structure, where children are born and raised in a loving environment and taught, among other things, the importance of family, values, and responsibility. Unfortunately, that key element — the religious foundation — that is meant to strengthen the family sometimes turns out to be the very thing that drives families apart. A “house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matthew 12:25).
What is so divine about an alleged religious organization that promotes policies that encourages devisiveness among family members who are not affiliated with their group and considers only its own teachings to be the truth, while denouncing all other religions as pagan? Is it any wonder that so many people have become disillusioned with and distance themselves from organized religion? To be continued….