rare species: a librarian

library booksI went to the library today to return the books. I found this little library on the top floor of a shopping mall turned into a multi-purpose one-stop center for all local public services. There are still some shops for commercial purposes. The library is a branch of the main public library. It is conveniently located and those waiting for their legal documents to be processed or renewed can rest their feet and have a quiet reading time in this library. The librarian told me that this year’s membership is free. So I registered and borrowed six books. The maximum is fifteen for two weeks (on the presumption that we should read one book a day) and I may call them if I need extension before expiry. After extending twice I finally went there to return with no intention of borrowing anymore as I just do not seem to have time for their books. But the librarian persuaded me to re-borrow the one book that I did not manage to finish. He also persuaded me to go and look at the shelves and borrow more books than that one book. In the end I lingered longer and found six more books. So I have seven books for two weeks. When I left the library I was happy and not burdened. The bag of books seemed light and easy to bear. The librarian’s gentle persuasion and his holding fast to his love for this profession of books reading somehow affected me. True, every book on the shelves was written by someone who must have loved words. Writing books in general is not a profession that can create monetary wealth overnight. For many writers it does not even make ends meet. The books (usually in two copies only) remain new and untouched on the shelves even if they make it to the library. When I look at the page where they still stamp the dates I realize mine is the first one. How long have those books been waiting on the shelves? How long has the librarian been waiting for someone to come and agreed with him and borrow some, at least more than one perhaps? I am a book lover all my life. I collect books. I have my own personal library. I give away many books too. Perhaps others do the same. Perhaps that is why the public library is not being used that much in this country. I want to think of the bright side about books still being in demand by avid readers and collectors. Writing a book, getting it edited, printed and proof-read, formally published, marketed, sold and finally read by someone is a long and difficult process for many. It is like conceiving a baby, nurturing him or her to full term and finally giving birth. A book is a living being too. It takes a lot of nurturing to become what it is when reader reads it. Imagine a baby having been born in such painstaking way and then be left neglected, for years on a shelf. Unthinkable. So does a book. When I told the librarian I only wanted to re-borrow one book he had that sad look of despair. He had encountered many like me before. But he did not give up. I would consider this a good librarian. A man who knows the true worth of a book. He would go any length to promote and defend a worthy course.

I too long to see the day  an individual who reads one book a day turns up.

Words are life

bible-verses-about-loveI am reading a book translated from Spanish. The narrator (in first person who started as a young boy of ten years old) described his finding a book which so intrigued him he grew up with it and engaged himself with finding its author’s own life story. He was led to investigate the background of the author and got involved with people associated with the author’s past. The book was about finding the author of another book and his story. A very simple theme. What did the narrator do? He merely went and asked questions from people the other author used to know. I find this book convincingly real even though it was meant to tell another person’s story. By telling others’ life stories the narrator tells his own life story too. Clever. Stories are being written daily even at this very moment by many individuals. Some intersperse with others. Some stand alone. All are about living one way or the other. All use words. Words become alive when they describe or record life. How did humans first discover this way of preserving  life, even though it can only be mere moments captured at interval in time and space? Was it by chance? A mystery to our mind. But I do believe that the Creator programed human with this in mind. What is the purpose behind each record of life? Again a mystery. Some records (books) fail to last or worse, to be read at all. Some records last a longer time. But none can boast immortality. So what is the point of writing a book? Why do I write words? I write because I love. Even if it’s a fleeting moment. I love life. Words are life.

John 6:63
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

a conversation with Word

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writer: I have been looking for you whole day.

Word: Why? Don’t you know I am always here?

writer: But I cannot see you.

Word: I can see you.

writer: Where are you exactly? In all these books? These famous quotes from other writers?

Word: I am everywhere.

writer: How can I see you?

Word: See with your heart and not your mind. Nice talking to you. What a glorious day! I think I am taking a walk in the garden now. Bye.

Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. (Psalm 45:1)

random thoughts: Love means honor and respect and not causing harm to others

chatting

We consume and live on words. Almost effortlessly we chew on words verbally, non-verbally, consciously and subconsciously. The volume we consume daily and in  lifetime can be phenomenal. Someone may argue that he does not talk and can in fact remain silent for 24 hours or more. My question is: “How do you stop your thought from making various formations in words?” If you know of anyway other than drugging (with harmful consequences) yourself into a zombie state, please share with us. I have observed people groups with relatively limited vocabularies but they still use words (sounds and signs of words) to communicate and think in words.

Sometimes I feel sad that we take words for granted. We make utterances without considering the effect on the recipients. No one can claim that words have no impact. Some people realize too late that the horrible names they have casually spoken on their own loved ones (spouses, children), like: fat pig, dead dog, foolish egg, cow dung, damned, stupid donkey, big-mouth, ugly face, toothless, dead ghost etc. may have become hurtful and damning lifelong curses. In some countries the registrars of birth have forbidden the use of certain immoral, unethical and even unsightly names for the new born. I understand why someone may not like being told what names not to use but I agree with the registrars that we need to respect God for giving this world a new life and the new born child is just as human worthy of honor and a positive start in life as his or her counterpart anywhere in this world.

Imagine the ridicule and damage when the child first encounters another child when he introduces himself as a stupid…something. Thank God you can always go to the authority and change your child’s name or even your name legally. Christians receive a new name when baptized. You can start afresh. Start now. Use words respectfully. Love means honor and respect and not causing harm to others.

definitions of words

fishes in motionI like words. The following are some definitions of the word “word” I found at random. These are the ones I often use.

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Definitions of “word”:
from Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary:
a single unit of language which means something and can be spoken or written.
a promise or guarantee that you will do something or that something will happen or is true.
a piece of information or news.
Bible: the Word (also the Word of God). The Bible and its teaching.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition:
A sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes.
See Logos.
The Scriptures; the Bible.
definitions from Wiktionary:
A distinct unit of language which is approved by some authority.
Different symbols, written or spoken, arranged together in a unique sequence that approximates a thought in a person’s mind.
To say or write (something) using particular words.