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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

Welcome to my own personal exploration of life through reading the great books of the world.

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Location: Spokane, Washington, United States

"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Secret Life of Bookshelves

Bookshelves make for strange bedfellows. On my shelves I see Hank Aaron's I Had a Hammer next to Flatland by Edwin Abbot. Hmmm...

I got to thinking about bookshelves because I'm about to start reading a book by Henry Petroski called The Book on the Bookshelf. Petroski's book is both a history and a tribute. He traces the development of bookshelves while at the time celebrating their usefulness. And, as he says,
"The story of the bookshelf cannot be told without telling the story of the book, and how it evolved from scroll to codex to printed volume. These are not arcane subjects that have little relevance for for the new millenium; they are among the basic data of civilization that provide a means to a better understanding of the evolving technology of today and to extrapolating it into the future..."
As I glance through the pages of his book I notice many illustrations and photographs: scrolls on shelves, rolling book presses, the first-floor plan of the Library of Congress. The book looks fascinating, and I'll give my review of it when I finish reading it. For now, take a look at this incredible picture by Thomas Eagle of Bassano, Italy:

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posted by Nick Senger at 5:54 AM

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