28 January 2013

An Austen Anniversary

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! --When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."

-Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

Happy 200th!

18 January 2013

Life [Kind of] Resembling Art

Inevitably, the simplest default explanation of the archival profession to an outsider:

With one notable exception: I refuse to idolize Masons.

13 January 2013

The Mystery of Reading

Fra Angelico, The Conversion of St. Augustine 

"We must never assume that we now exactly what is happening when anyone else reads a book...The same book can move another's will and understanding differently than it does our own. We ourselves are receptive to different books at different times in our lives. It is quite possible for one to get nothing out of reading a book, whereas someone else, reading the same book, goes out and changes the world. Likewise we can be excited by reading a book that our friends find dull. There is a mystery here of how mind speaks to mind through reading."

-C.S. Lewis & Fr. James V. Schall, The Life of the Mind

05 January 2013

Et Ecce Stella! (Epiphany)

"And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
-Matthew 2: 9-11

02 January 2013

Life is a Mystery...

Fortunately, the quotation above doesn't significantly apply to me (but I do avoid shopping malls like the plague and only cook because I would starve otherwise). All in all, I am a pretty temperate book-buyer. I add to my personal library in small bits, but I make extensive use of libraries, and occasionally borrow interesting titles from friends. Goodness knows I would love more books. Yet every Christmas I am left in a familiar state of bewilderment when I am given no new tomes to carry gleefully home.

I know it is vain to complain about gifts. But yes, you heard that right-my family, my own dear family, rarely gives me books as Christmas gifts.