Libraries.


Books. Remember them? Ink, paper, and a little glue.

One summer, I think my Freshman year in College, I decided to read crazy books. I've always been a sucker for classics and after watching Conspiracy Theory (with Mel Gibson, remember that crazy movie?) I decided to give Catcher in the Rye a shot.

That is one crazy book. JD Salinger. Then came Catch-22. Joseph Heller. 1984. George Orwell. Brave New World. Aldus Huxley.

And finally, I read Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury.

It was a strange, wonderful, and enlightening summer. Since then, probably the craziest book I've read since was A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Did I mention I love Jesus and still do?

Imagine my surprise when I find out the guy loves libraries and is working to save them. Not Jesus, Bradbury.

The link is here, HT to Mental Floss.

Dude is still alive! And while the article quotes Bradbury as saying the internet is meaningless, its obvious that information (in print form) has a dear place in his heart.

It has yet to be determined if the work-horse of the digital age (magnetized metal) can compete with the longevity acheived through putting your thoughts on paper.

All this got me thinking about two things:
  1. Libraries are important - as a professional librarian, my Mother often took me to the library. I don't remember reading books much there. Despite her best efforts, I'm afraid my short attention span did not encourage me to do anything besides run around through the shelves, find places to hide (libraries have lots of wonderful places to hide), and rely on my imagination to stave off boredom. The treasure trove of information in the books went first to my brother, who, as legend has it, could read a newspaper in second grade. So be it, but libraries are still important to me if only for the event horizon I can see created by the wealth of knowledge in one place.
  2. Books are vitally important to people because of their reliability and the catalytic properties. The best books change the very nature of your world. But they aren't as important or as catalytic as relationships.
Relationships are more important than books. The interaction between two people is more important than a person and a book. Sure, books are awesome and great. But God sent His Son, not his book.

Sure, the Bible is important and has given to us by God, but why? The only reason the Bible is important is because it talks about the Son. It talks about relationships.

In reading my crazy books that summer, I discovered that no book, no matter how crazy, flawed, or difficult should be overlooked. They are all valuable and worth enjoying or wrestling with. The same is true about people.

I hope you never miss out on books, or people. Either way, I have to say the one person/book I continue to wrestle with, love, and enjoy, is Jesus. I think you'd enjoy him too, some think he's crazy though.