Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Library Greeting

Some of you will recognize this as a quote from Inkheart. It is the same quote that is on the door of Mo's workshop in the farmhouse he and Meggie live in before they have to flee to Elinor's house: "Some books should be tasted; some devoured, but only a few should be chewed & digested thoroughly."

In truth, this is a "redone" version of one of Francis Bacon's sayings, his going like this:

"Some books are to be tasted;
Others to be swallowed;
and some few to be chewed and digested."

I like how Cornelia Funke put it better. This is the first thing anyone entering my private library will see - it is now hung on its door. I am extremely pleased with it. When I first envisioned what it would look like, I thought it pretty grand. But when I finally saw it engraved into my hand-picked brass plaque - and done in the hand-picked font - I realized just how lovely it is, and it is thoroughly in keeping with my library. Oh, it was quite difficult picking a quote to put on the door. There are so many good sayings out there. Another favorite is something Oscar Wilde said:

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again,
there is no use in reading it at all."

For someone like me who is constantly re-reading books, this cannot be any truer. If a book doesn't leave you wishing to visit it again, then that book is not a good book at all. A truly good book - a book worth reading - will plant that desire to wile away the hours with it again someday, like an old friend. In the end, I chose the quote from Inkheart because when I first read it, it touched me in a deep manner because it is also so very true - but true in a way that I believe a lot of people tend to ignore. Bookworms often have the misconception that all books should be read as quickly and as avidly as the last one, but it isn't true. There are those books that should only be tasted - those are books that we tend to not finish, - others devoured - read at a speedy pace, - but then there are the masterpieces - the ones that you linger over, take in its every word, feel full when you have finished its last word. And there are only a few - a very few - books that are like that.

So, while Oscar Wilde's saying is definitely true, Inkheart's (or Frances Bacon; since I used the one in Inkheart, I will give the credit there), speaks even truer and I think is more important. If you devour every book, just taste all of them, or digest all, then you either don't care as much about reading - about books - as you think, or you are "eating" a lot of bad literature among the good and the very few, rare best.

I hope to be able to post pictures of the actual library sometime in the future. I am hoping that my dad will have time this summer to build the rest of the shelves, but until that happens, I am afraid the inner confines of my sanctum must remain veiled in mystery.

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