Wouldn’t this be an amazing tree to have in your home year round? A tree of books! I thought for a few moments about building one for this post and taking a picture–but I decided against it–mine would probably collapse during the building of the tower. And though we cannot see the titles of the books, appreciation of the printed word calls out to us. Knowing that throughout history, writing, free expression and books were banned and often burned, the very presence of pieces of paper bound between two covers is a gift of freedom.
Yes the internet is freedom too–I am using it right now to express my opinions. But there is nothing like a book that responds whether or not you have electrically in your home or are connected to wifi. A book can almost be forever.
So let’s dip inside and read something.
“Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
“In many respects, the United States is a great country. Freedom of speech is protected more than in any other country. It is also a very free society. In America, the professor talks to the mechanic. They are in the same category.”
― Noam Chomsky
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation…deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
― Rudyard Kipling
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Back when Mom was alive, we’d go out “tree hunting.” That’s what she called it, anyway. I think other people might use the word “trespassing.”
― Jenny Han, Fire with Fire
This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn’t make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery?
If the guy exists why doesn’t he ever show himself and prove it?
And if he doesn’t exist what’s the meaning of all this?
I dunno. Isn’t this a religious holiday?
Yeah, but actually, I’ve got the same questions about God.”
― Bill Watterson
“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”
― Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express
“One true king knew when to step aside and give up the reins of power—to remove his crown and relinquish his kingdom—all for the sake of glimpsing, just once in a lifetime, the face of a holy child. He was the Fourth to follow the Star. His gift was a secret. The rest of his journey is unknown.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
“You wanted a peaceful, comfortable Christmas, with all reminders of poverty, injustice, or other people’s griefs well out of sight, so as not to disturb your pleasure. That isn’t what Christmas is about, Wallace. Christmas is about offering hope to all people, not just those like ourselves. Christmas is about everyone: rich or poor, friend or stranger. The moment you exclude anyone, you exclude yourself.”
― Anne Perry, A Christmas Hope
“Lifting the child from the bed. The bathroom window blue with snow and moonlight. Though safe inside the walls of their home, out of wind and the biting of snow, Ella now shivering with the weight of the fragileness of life—her life, Sarah’s. Thinking, the blessed infant braved the cold and more, thinking, how much more sorrow was still outside that window and that Ella and every other parent never knew when it might come through the door, crash through the glass. Then a startling, heart-stopping thud above their heads. Ella hugging Sarah closer, hoping only ice-laden snow sliding from the highest eaves. “Santa?” Sarah saying, lifting her head to the light. Of course, Santa. “Do you see him?” Ella asking, telling herself to get a grip. Sarah shaking her head “no,” burrowing into her mother’s shoulder.” —Elizabeth A. Havey, On Strange Ground (work in progress)
Finally, books make wonderful Christmas gifts and supporting your independent books stores is good for everyone! Enjoy strolling through a book store, sampling books on tables and shelves, maybe even enjoying a book tree–if they have one. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Reading. Beth
Thanks to booknerdreviews.com, pinterest.com, and FB Barbara Davis, author.