Sunday, February 12, 2006
Old books can be some of the most incredible friends that you will ever have. I can remember visits to the library when I was a kid and from that time I have developed a passion for reading. The old adage is that "readers are leaders" and it is very true. When you open a book, you are in the very early stages of starting to stretch your mind. The concepts behind the words will cause to you embrace disiciplines that can change you forever.
Part of the joy of reading comes from the "hunt." The "hunt" is the journey that begins when you take a trip to a library, a new bookstore, or even better yet, when you can find an old bookstore that has old books. There is something about the sights, sounds, and smells of an old bookstore that can challenge not only your physical senses but also your mental senses (which you do have).
A few years ago, I "stumbled" across one such author. He has been dead for a few years now but his stories live beyond his grave. The author was A. J. Cronin and the first book that I read of his was entitled The Citadel. It is a story about a young man who was born in impoverished conditions in Scotland and wanted to become a physician and practice medicine in the upper crust soceity of London. The story told of the great sacrifices and huge challenges that he overcame to simply become and physician and continue to pass the necessary boards to get to the place that he wanted to go. However, in the process he sacrificed everything that was dear to him (he just did not know it) to get to the "society" status. What he did not realize was that the "society" had no manners, no grace, and were filled with decadent, shallow lives that were consumed on themselves.
You owe it to yourself to find this book and read it for yourself. You will realize that all that glitters is not gold.