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  • Writer's pictureCarolyne Aarsen

An ode to books (newsletter March 2024)

Greetings to you all.

I've had books and writing on the mind the past few weeks. So I thought I would share one of my favourite pieces about books. This was written by Garrison Keillor and he put this on the inside jacket of one of the books he wrote. An ode to books.

A silken photo of the author leaning on a porch should occupy this space along with a few roundhouse tributes from newspapers, but why not instead a few lines about the great and ancient invention you hold in you hand, the Book itself. Slow to hatch, as durable as a turtle, light and shapely as befits the descendent of the tree. Closed, the object d’book resembles a board. Open it’s pale wings brush the fingertips, the spore of fresh ink and pulp excites the nose, the spine lies easily in the hand. A handsome useful object begotten by the passion for truth. The Apostle Paul was not the host of a talk show or else we’d be worshiping famous people on Sunday mornings; he wrote books, a Christian thing to do. The faith of Jews and Christians rests on God’s sacred word not on magic or music, and so technology burst forward into publishing. Gutenburg and Johan Fust and Peter Schoffer making books similar to ours in the fifteenth century. Ages before the loudspeaker and the camera, came this lovely thing, this portable garden which survives television, computers, censorship, lousy schools and rotten authors. Along with the Constitution, the blues and baseball the democracy of letters is a common glory in our midst, visible in every library and bookstore. These stacks of boards contain our common life and keep it against the miserable days when meanness operates with a free hand and save it for the day when the lonesome reader opens the cover and the world is resurrected. The day can come next month or a hundred years from now, a book will wait.

In my last blog post, I told you about one of my favourite books. This quote is a reminder why I like books. Reading Books. Writing Books. Collecting Books. Sometimes I go back to my bookshelf and find a book I've read before, take it back to my 'reading' corner of the living room, sink into my chair and start reading. Acquainting myself with an old friend.

What about you? What is a book you've read more than once. Or twice?

Leonard's Lines

A week or so ago, Carolyne and her man decided they wanted to go down to visit the grandkids. And put together a bunk bed for the boys. Carolyne and her daughter found it on Wayfair and the boys loved the idea. So they ordered it but then it needed assembly. So they packed me in the car and took me along. Daughter went away for a few days and Carolyne and her man took care of the grandkids.

And put this bunk bed together. I got kind of bored because while Rich was putting the beds together with the help of the boys, Carolyne was sewing the quilts you can see on the bed. She had a few more things to do before they could go on. So everyone was busy. All me and Finn, the other dog, did was sleep, stretch, move and sleep some more.

I was glad we came home so I could hang out again with Rusty and help Richard feed the cows and the horses. It's a good life out her

Leonard was a real good sport about sitting in the back of the car all the way down to visit the grandkids. I did take him and Finn out for a walk, but in the city that means leashes until we get to the off-leash area and, well, those nasty little bags....I'm always glad I don't have to worry about leashes or nasty little bags when I go out for our walks by our place. I enjoy my walks, it gives me a chance to think about my story, send up some prayers, and just enjoy being outside. In fact, I think I'll head out there right now!

Take care and talk again.

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